Bicycle Safety in Los Angeles
A bicycle accident can cause devastating injuries and other losses for bikers and their loved ones. Cyclists can reduce their risk of injury by wearing appropriate protective gear and following the rules of the road, but when accidents do happen, it is important to retain a personal injury attorney who understands the legal issues presented by bike accidents. Call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles bike accident lawyer. We fight hard for bike accident victims.
Bicycle Safety Tips
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also issued a list of bike safety tips for children. Parents should work with their children to follow these steps:
- Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life.
- Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if a mountain bicycle. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level as the seat.
- Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
- See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
- Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
- Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
- Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many States), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you.
- Go With the Traffic Flow. Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow – not against it.
- Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle, and you’re a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
- Yield to Traffic When Appropriate. Almost always, drivers on a smaller road must yield (wait) for traffic on a major or larger road. If there is no stop sign or traffic signal and you are coming from a smaller roadway (out of a driveway, from a sidewalk, a bike path, etc.), you must slow down and look to see if the way is clear before proceeding. This also means yielding to pedestrians who have already entered a crosswalk.
- Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves to others. Children can be impulsive and prone to unexpected movements. This is highly dangerous while on the road.
- Stay Alert at All Times. Use your eyes AND ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations; don’t wear a headset when you ride.
- Look Before Turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making the turn. Watch for left- or right-turning traffic.
- Watch for Parked Cars. Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars (like doors opening, or cars pulling out).
- Sidewalk Riding: Children less than 10 years old are often not mature enough to make the decisions necessary to ride in the street safely. They also do not understand the rules of the road the way that adult drivers do. Children less than 10 years old are better off riding on the sidewalk.
Of course, many of these tips apply to adult bikers, as well. Adult cyclists should be sure to check their safety equipment and bike gear before every ride. They should be sure to follow the rules of the road and make their movements obvious to drivers. Use caution in parking lots, garages, and when riding next to a line of parallel parking. Drivers may open doors unexpectedly in these locations. Many bikers have been injured by car doors being opened on a stopped vehicle. Ride defensively, not aggressively. Yield the right-of-way (even if it is yours) in order to avoid collisions. Watch out for potential obstacles and be prepared to react quickly to any obstruction in the roadway.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accidents can leave victims with staggering medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and many other types of compensable losses. Insurance companies train their adjusters to downplay the value of these losses and make settlement offers as low as possible. Injury victims do not have to accept this treatment. By hiring an aggressive personal injury lawyer to fight for you, your legal right to compensation will be protected from insurance company tactics. Call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.
Posted in: Bicycle Accidents