Study Finds Bicyclists Less Visible at Night Than Believed

A bicyclist’s risk of being involved in an accident increases during low visibility conditions at nighttime. Those risks may be even higher because bicyclists are not aware of exactly how invisible they are during nighttime. A new study finds that many people who ride bicycles at night may be too optimistic about their visibility to motorists.

The report is based on a study conducted by scientists at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. The results of the analysis are due to be published in Accident Analysis and Prevention soon. The researchers recruited subjects who were asked to wear black clothing, as well as florescent clothing and reflective vests, and estimate the distance at which an approaching motorist would be able to see them.

Persons, who wore black clothing or just a reflective vest, seemed to be the most optimistic about their visibility to motorists approaching from a distance. They thought motorists would see them from nearly twice the distance than motorists actually did. Most bicyclists however managed to correctly estimate that they were much more visible to motorists and other people, when they were wearing reflective tapes on their knees and ankles. Interestingly enough, these strips are actually much more effective in increasing visibility, than the bicyclists knew.

Bicyclists are likely to overestimate their visibility in those conditions in which their visibility is actually minimal. According to the results of the study, they also seem to underestimate the benefits of pairing reflective vests and reflective strips on the knees and ankles. As California bicycle accident attorneys would expect, determining visibility seems to get better with the frequency of bicycling. More frequent bicyclists were likely to better judge the distance at which a motorist could see them, compared to persons who did not ride much.

Los Angeles Bicycle Safety Campaign Kicks off

Metro is kicking off a special bicycle safety campaign in time for the peak bicycling season in Los Angeles. Metro recently launched the campaign called Every Lane Is a Bicycle Lane to increase awareness about the need for bicycle safety in Los Angeles County.

The campaign will include public awareness messages that will be posted on the back of at least 75 Metro buses. As many as 135 billboards will also carry the special bicycle safety message, and 21 local radio stations are expected to blast out the message to motorists every day.

The point of the campaign is to educate motorists that bicyclists have equal rights under the California law, and that they must watch out for bicyclists every day. One of the most frequent excuses that California bicycle accident lawyers find after an accident involving a bicycle and a motorist is that the driver did not see the bicyclist.

Bicyclists are protected under California law, and both bicyclists and motorists need to be educated about the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. Unfortunately, many motorists and bicyclists remain unaware of the state codes, and educating both motorists as well as bicyclists has been a serious challenge. That is the main point of the Metro campaign – to make bicyclists aware of their rights as well as their responsibilities under the law.

It’s very encouraging for California bicycle accident lawyers to see Metro get involved with bicycle safety. For too long, issues related to bicycle safety have been left to bicycle safety groups to handle on their own. The “bicycle safety” message becomes a lot more potent when public transportation agencies get involved in spreading the word.

Yuba Bicycles Recalled Due to Injury Hazard

A serious injury hazard on close to 1000 Yuba bicycles has resulted in a recall by the company. Thousands of Cargo Bikes distributed by Yuba Bicycles are being recalled due to the defect, which can cause the passenger’s foot to be caught in the wheel of the bicycle. This can cause a potential injury to the rider.

According to Yuba Bicycles which is based in Sausalito, California, these bicycles were manufactured in China. The company is aware of at least 2 reports involving passengers who got their feet caught in the rear wheel of the bicycle. However, neither of these incidents resulted in injuries.

The bicycles that are included in the recall are the Mundo V4 Cargo Bikes, which come with steel frames, aluminum fenders and a wooden utility deck. The bikes come in orange, black and blue colors. These bicycles were sold at Yuba dealers across the country and Yuba Bicycles online, between May 2011 and December 2012.

The company is asking all bicycle owners who own one of these Cargo Bikes to stop using the recalled bicycles immediately. If you are an owner of the Mundo V4 Cargo Bikes included in this recall, you are required to contact the company immediately to receive a free wheel cover/wheel skirt. These wheel covers/wheel skirts will be installed on the bicycle at no extra cost.

Sometimes, a bicycle accident may occur in spite of the best efforts of the bicyclist in driving safely, because of a defect in the bicycle. In fact, California bicycle accident lawyers have recently come across an increasing number of recalls involving bicycles that had to be pulled off the market because of an inherent defect and the potential to cause an injury.