Montana Legislature Finally Amends Archaic Bicycle Laws

After decades of ignoring the rights of their ever-growing cycling communities, Montana legislature has finally updated their ancient bicycling statutes that failed to clearly define what rights were afforded to cyclists. Among the changes to the laws include no further requirement for coaster brakes or six-foot orange flags on any road bicycles, two prime examples of how previous Montana bicycle laws showed their age. The updated laws officially went into effect in October and have gone a long way to ensure a safer cycling experience in the state.

What Has Been Updated?

Following in the treads of bicycle laws around the country, a number of amendments have been made, but several key additions have Montana cyclists thrilled.

  • A new law clarifies that motorists are allowed to cross the yellow dividing line to pass a cyclist providing that no oncoming traffic is approaching and the cyclist is traveling less than half the speed limit.
  • Montana’s old reflector law has been made more flexible, allowing for reflective clothing or material instead of reflectors on the wheels or pedals. However, a head light and rear reflector are still required for night riding.
  • Motorized bicycles have been changed to refer specifically to mopeds for a law the specifically bars them from bicycle paths and on sidewalks.
  • Among the new reflector requirements, the new law states that a head lamp on the helmet is an acceptable alternative to a lamp on the handlebars.

Although these new laws are a big step in the right direction, bicycle advocates still feel that it is not quite enough. The new laws still neglect crucial safety requirements for cyclists in terms of their interaction with motorist, leaving both open to accident, injury, and tricky legal action. Have you ever had a cycling accident due the negligence or malicious action of another motorist that refused to share the road in the state of California? Then you may be due legal compensation for your pain and medical expenses, contact us today to see what we can do for you.

New Biking Dangers Put Americans’ Quality of Life in Jeopardy

If you enjoy biking, it pays to sit up and take notice of the recent headlines. In the last three months, a number of bicycles and bike accessories were recalled due to safety issues. As a whole, the safety issues were caused by a multitude of design flaws and manufacturing defects with the potential to cause cyclists bodily harm. The list of faulty components included, but wasn’t restricted to the following:

  • Bicycle Brakes and Rotors
  • Spindles and Seat Posts
  • Steering Tube Assemblies
  • Tow Bars and Handlebars
  • Pedals and Pedal Extenders
  • Suspension Forks and Wheels

Last autumn, Washington Post writer, Katherine Shaver, pointed out how dangerous biking can be in her column, Dr. Gridlock. She noted an increase in biking related deaths, which is supported by statistics available through Governing magazine, IIHS-HLDINHTSA and the CDC. Understandably, the deaths cause emotional turmoil as well as a potential loss of income for those left behind.

Other dated publications gave insight into the countrywide, financial repercussions of such tragic occurrences. Not surprisingly, they total in the billions. And those reports primarily looked at the indirect and direct healthcare costs associated with various accident outcomes, not income reduction.

Cyclists are entitled to know that the items they are purchasing are safe and defect free. They also have the right to enjoy the best quality of life possible. So those injured in biking accidents may have recourse against the designers, manufacturers and others behind the faulty products.  Furthermore, they may be able to inquire about restitution against additional people involved in the accident. Examples include but don’t end with trail designers, city maintenance departments and motorists.

To learn more about recovery options for people injured in biking accidents, please contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin. We will gladly review incidents that occurred in California as well as offer victims and their families counsel.

Crucial Steps to Take if Your Bike is Hit By a Vehicle

bicycle accident can cause serious injuries especially when a vehicle is involved. What you do in the moments after the accident is crucial to your ability to seek fair compensation for your injuries. Here are a few quick tips to ensure you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your injuries and bike damage.

Take Immediate Action

If you are injured, it is natural to call 911 immediately. However, many times after an accident, bicyclists will feel an immediate rush of adrenaline that often masks pain and injuries. Unfortunately, this may lead riders to believe they are fine and allow the vehicle driver to leave the scene. In the event that your pain flares up a 1/2 mile down the road or later in the evening when you have calmed down, you have no way of contacting the driver if you did not take any action at the scene. Always call the police to report an accident. This ensures there is a legal record of who was involved in the accident and what occurred.

Do Not Discuss Fault

Never discuss who is at fault at the scene of the accident. There is simply no reason to enter into this discussion. The only information you should exchange with the driver of the vehicle is contact information. All other information should bereserved for the police to include in their official report.

Seek and Follow Up on All Needed Medical Treatment

Your health should always be the first priority. After a bicycle accident, it’s important to always seek medical attention. Adrenaline can mask serious injuries. Receiving prompt medical attention can prevent more serious injuries from developing.

If you have been in a bicycle accident, contact us. Our experienced attorneys understand the seriousness of bicycle accidents and will work with you to ensure you and your family recover fair and adequate compensation.