3 Tips to Avoid Bicycle Accidents

If you use a bicycle as your primary mode of transportation or like biking as a fun hobby or a great form of exercise, one thing that you might worry about is bicycle accidents. As you probably already know, a bicycle accident can lead to serious injury — or even death. Luckily, following a few simple tips can help you stay safe.

1. Keep Your Bike in Good Shape

First of all, you have to make sure that you keep your bike in good shape. Inspect it regularly, and make sure that the chain, the brakes and the tires are in good shape. Also, check your bike for rust or other signs of wear and tear that could potentially result in an accident. Have parts repaired or replaced as needed.

2. Dress for the Occasion

Every time that you hop on your bike, you should make sure that you are properly dressed for the occasion. Don’t wear clothing that is too loose — it could get caught in your chain or your tires. Also, make sure that you always wear a helmet and other essential safety gear, and wear bright colors and a reflective vest in dark conditions so that you can be easily seen.

3. Follow Biking Safety Tips

Make sure that you always operate your bike safely. Ride on the proper side of the road, and use hand signals to keep nearby motorists informed of what you are doing.

Some accidents cannot be avoided, but taking the proper precautions can help you stay safe. If you do find yourself in a bicycle accident, contact us at the Law Office of Gary Brustin to find out how we can help.

Bicycle safety – Using signals

Bicycle safety is very important, and if you take your bicycle on the road with other vehicles, you need to know how to stay safe on your bicycle. Even if you’re the one driving the car, you should still be aware of these important hand signals used by cyclists. It could save a life, including your own!

These can also be used if your car’s turn signal lights have stopped working. Learn these signals and remember, when driving a car, always keep at least a car’s space between you and the bicyclist. For the bicyclist, you can’t control what the vehicles around you do, but remember to keep alert and watch out for cars. Remember to look behind you before you begin to turn, to look for oncoming traffic, just as you would in a car.

  • Left turns: When turning left or changing lanes on a bicycle, the proper way to signal left is to hold your left arm straight out, pointing toward the left.
  • Right turns: The proper way to signal a right turn is to hold out your left arm, elbow bent up at a right angle. A clearer way to indicate, however, is to hold out your right arm, pointing to the right. For better safety for either turn, hold your arm down at an angle, near your side, pointing at the road.
  • Stopping: Bicycles don’t have brake lights, so to indicate stopping, hold your left hand down, with the palm open.

How To Get Your Child To Wear Their Helmet

Every cyclist, particularly those who have been in an accident, knows the importance of a helmet. Helmets can reduce the chance of severe head injuries by 88 percent. Unfortunately, helmets aren’t “cool” and up to 50 percent of child cyclists forgo wearing them while on their bikes. So how can you get them to protect their heads?

Start Early

If your child isn’t already cycling the neighborhood, introduce the helmet early, as in the very first day of teaching them to ride a bike. Be sure to stress how important it is to wear a helmet each time they ride a bike.

Wear a Helmet Yourself

If you aren’t wearing one, why should they? It is as simple as that. Children need their parents to lead by example.

Reach Out to Non-Helmet Parents

One of the easiest ways to get a child to do something, is to get their friends to do it. If your child refuses to wear their helmet because the other kids don’t have to, talk to those other kids parents and ask if they could persuade their children to wear a helmet as well.

Stress Why You Need to Wear a Helmet

There are a hundred little tricks to help your child take to wearing a helmet while cycling, but let’s not forget that children are people too. Be real with them for a moment and let them know why they need to be wearing a helmet. Tell them you want to make sure their heads are protected and that you care about their safety. It is cheesy, but surprisingly effective.

Getting a child to wear a helmet is difficult, but it will protect them in case of accident. If you have been in a cycling accident, or worse, your child already has, contact us today to see if you have legal action available to you.

California’s Bicycle Helmet Law Debate May Reignite Thanks to Latest Study

The December 2015 edition of the journal, Injury Epidemiology , is likely to reignite a bicycle law debate that took place throughout California earlier this year. The debate centered on bicycle helmets, which are mentioned in the state’s Vehicle Code Section 21212, Subsection A through F3 as well as Penal Code Section 1463. Presently, it only impacts minors and their parents or legal guardians.

Some fractions of the government and general public would like to see the law expanded whereas others prefer it be done away with altogether. Those that push for expansion want the a fore mentioned bicycle law to include cyclists of all ages. Those opposed, generally find the bicycle law in question, meaningless. Ironically, at the crux of each side’s argument are scientific studies that have been circulating in America for decades.

As a whole, the opposing studies focus on the cause and effect of bicycle accidents as well as mention preventive measures. Some studies, like the one published in a 2015 edition of Injury Prevention indicate that mandatory or voluntary bicycle helmet use is not as effective as safety experts once believed. Others, including a 2015 piece in Emergency Medicine Australasiacite data to the contrary. As such, they are often used by proponents of bicycle laws.

So which bicycle accident studies are to be believed? Unfortunately, study veracity depends on numerous factors which many on each side of the argument tend to gloss over for argument’s sake. What both sides can agree on is to keep the portion of the bicycle law intact as it pertains to children. This consensus is largely related to the sheer volume of cycling related injuries among minors.

To learn more about the ongoing debate between opponents and advocates of California’s bicycle helmet laws, please contact us. Initial consultations with our California bicycle attorney are free.

As 2015 Ends, the Golden Gate City’s Bicycle Laws Remain Up for Debate

Bicycle laws have dominated San Francisco’s headlines as of late. What’s the big debate? On the table is a proposal that if passed, will likely do nothing to stop opponents’ tongue-wagging. On the other hand, it will give local cyclists a bit of relief when it comes to certain traffic violations, like “failure to stop.”

As it stands now, a decision on the fate of the bicycle law won’t be made until the third week of December. So until then, riders must adhere to state and local ordinances as originally written. State laws regarding failure to stop or yield may be found in Vehicle Code Section 21200-21212. They are very clear about cyclists’ duties. As such, many local authorities have simply framed their own ordinances around them.

With that said, proposed revisions to the city’s local bicycle laws may be a departure from the state’s norm but they’re reflective of what’s going on nationwide. In the last few years, a number of states have rewritten their vehicle codes to accommodate a growing interest in cycling, green transportation and bicycle tourism. They’ve also taken a hard look at whether or not law enforcement should be issuing tickets to cyclists in the first place.

It should also be noted that according to a May 2015 article in Forbes magazine, San Francisco is already widely considered one of the top friendliest places to ride a bike. The list of other California cities to land on Forbes’ radar includes, but isn’t limited to Oakland and Long Beach. Thus, it’s safe to assume that whatever authorities decide later this month, it is likely to have implications beyond San Francisco County.

To learn more about the changing paradigm towards bicycle laws and their enforcement, please contact California attorney Gary Brustin today for a consultation. He has devoted many years towards the sport and the protection of his fellow cyclists.