The Importance of Witnesses in Bicycle Accidents

Being hit while on your bike is a pretty traumatic experience, and hopefully it will never happen to you. However, if it does, after checking if you and the driver are alright, you need to make sure you have a witness available to you if any injuries or damages occur.

Ideally, in the event of an accident, you and the driver want to wait for the police to arrive. If the drive tries to flee the scene, there really isn’t much you can do to stop them accept write down their license plate number as well as the make, model, and color of their car. If the driver is cooperating, ask anyone that was witness to the accident and is still around the area to write down their version of events as well as providing their name and number.

Having a written record as well as a few witnesses to call on makes the version of events pretty clear, especially once the adrenaline wears down and you start to get foggy on the details. By having at least one witness to the scene of the crime, it prevents the accident from both parties claiming they were not at fault. If you end up in court seeking damages, it makes the case pretty cut and dry, allowing you to avoid a long court battle.

If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident and want to know if any legal recourse is available to you, witnesses present or no, contact us today.

The 4 Rules of Safe City Biking

Bicycle safety is pretty basic when there aren’t too many cars around. However, when you take your bicycle into even a moderate-sized city, the rules change. Cars still rule the road there, and you need to know how to handle them safely because you better believe most cars don’t know how to handle a cyclist on the road. To keep you safe on city roads, here are a few rules to follow.

Give Every Parked Car Its Door Zone

Even if it looks like it has been parked for hours, that door could still swing open just as you are cruising by. When cycling by parked cars, be sure to give each and every one its door zone. The habit will save you a nasty bike accident one day.

Follow Vehicle Rules

You may not have a motor under you, but there are some traffic laws that bicycles need to follow too. This includes stopping at red lights, pausing at stop signs, and still giving pedestrians on crosswalks the right of way. By following these rules, it takes a lot of thinking out of the equation, makes things safer for all parties, and, well, it’s the law!

Watch for the Left Cross and Right Cross

These are the two most common accident zones at an intersection and you need to know how to deal with them. The Right Cross happens at an intersection where you are going straight, but a car is turning right without waiting for you. Be prepared to look behind you to check for cars turning right as you can be assured they won’t be paying you any attention.

The Left Cross is in a similar situation where the car across the way is going to turn left when you are going straight. You have the right away, but motorists don’t see you as a car.

No Lights at Night, No Ride

Cities may be brighter than country roads, but not every motorist will be able to see your bike at night without lights. If you don’t have lights on your bike, you might just want to take a cab.

Even if you follow these rules, accidents happen. If you have been the victim of a cycling accident, the Law Offices of Gary Bustin may be able to help you. Contact us today.

New Bicycle Laws Give Cyclists Better Elevator Access

Three new bicycling laws were passed in New York last week that aimed at giving cycling commuters better access throughout the city’s many buildings. The three laws are aimed at the access of bicycles in office and residential buildings where they once may have been barred. Previously, business owners could bar bicycles being brought into elevators, but no more.

The Bicycle Access Law gives cyclists the right to bring their bikes into the office via the elevator, something that was passed after city cyclists complained of a lack of safe places to store their bicycles on the street. The second law allows both visitors and residents of residential apartment buildings to bring their bicycles up in passenger elevators, another situation that was left open to the whims of the building landlords. The third law allowed bicycles to use freight elevators in a building to bring their bicycle up if no better option is available.

These three laws were passed in a better effort to encourage commuter cycling. Previously, many would be cyclists passed cycling to work as they had nowhere to store it during the day. Now cyclists are allowed to bring their bike to work, further encouraging this body healthy and environmentally healthy way of getting around.

While elevator use is typically not as strict in smaller cities, these laws now set a good precedent for other metropolitan cities, and hopefully one they will take notice of. If you want to want to stay up-to-date of great new bicycling laws around the country, contact us today.

Make Your Bicycle Commute the Best

Riding a bicycle to work can save on gas while giving you exercise. By following a few tips, you can make your ride safe and enjoyable.

Wear a helmet. They’re not just for kids. A lightweight helmet won’t interfere with your vision, and it can save you from a concussion if you take a fall.

Dress for the weather. If it’s warm or cold, dress so you won’t arrive at work overheated or frostbitten. If rain is threatening, pack a waterproof jacket. Don’t cover your ears unless it’s so cold that you have to; you want to hear anything that might be a danger. Wear bright or reflective clothing. You’ll want to change clothes anyway when you arrive.

Be predictable, and follow the rules of the road. Drivers are better able to avoid you when you don’t surprise them.

Stay hydrated. The effects of repeated dehydration aren’t immediately obvious, but they can be unpleasant. Pack a water bottle and pause to drink along the way.

Pack a light. You could be delayed coming home, and you want to be safe in the dark. If you don’t use it often, make sure to check its batteries periodically.

Have a sturdy lock. A U-type lock works well; for extra security you can add a cable lock. You want the bike to still be there when you leave.

Pack a repair kit. Flat tires are annoying, but being able to fix them on the spot reduces the pain. Include paper towels; one of the most common spot repairs is re-seating the chain, and it’s better not to arrive at work with greasy hands.

Inquire about commuting incentives. Some employers provide incentives to people who bike to work. Federal tax law allows abicycle subsidy of $20 a month for participating employers. Ask if they offer a secure place for bike parking.

Ride intelligently, and you’ll arrive at work safe, refreshed, and unstressed. If, in spite of this, you’re in a bike accident and need to take legal action, please contact our experienced legal team.