When’s the last time you checked the tension on your bike chain or oiled the gearing? If it’s been more than six months, time to brush up on your bicycle safety. They are two tasks that should be on every cyclist’s safety checklist and there’s more. If you’re not sure of the others, we’d suggest signing up for a bicycle safety class.
There is a number of bicycle safety classes held throughout California. Some are offered as part of assorted coalitions’ urban cycling workshops, including this one in San Francisco. The classes often include take-home or downloadable checklists that cyclists may use throughout the year at their discretion. If they don’t we’re sure that upon course completion you’ll be able to create one on your own.
Checking the bike’s moving parts should be just one category of tasks on your bicycle safety checklist. Stationary elements, including the frame, horn, reflectors, saddle, fenders and front fork should be noted somewhere on the checklist too. And although most pre-formed lists don’t have it, we’d suggest adding an internet search to the mix. Internet searches and notification alerts are important for cyclists who worry about recalls.
We feel that taking note of recalls is an essential part of bicycle safety, especially given how many occur each year. The total number of bike related recalls for 2016 has not been released yet. However, one look at Bicycle Retailer and similar periodicals shows just how many bikes are defective from the get go. Among the most recent brands to produce faulty products were Trek, Venge ViAS, Fuji, Breezer, Thule Sprint and Cannondale.
Keep in mind that bicycle inspections may not reveal the defects mentioned in recall notices. That’s why we are advocates of checking the notices too. They may help cyclists, especially those who end up injured, receive compensation for their trouble. To learn more about bicycle safety checklists and how to minimize one’s risk of injury, please contact The Law Office of Gary Brustin today.
It’s a well-known fact that accidents involving distracted or otherwise negligent drivers happen often. Sometimes the drivers hit other vehicles or pedestrians. Other times, it’s an unsuspecting cyclist that ends up injured. There are laws and bicycle safety measures in place to help prevent these types of occurrences but none that address self-driving vehicles. That’s one of the reasons why we find the whole Uber movement disconcerting.
In December 2016, it was revealed in The Guardian that the ride sharing company was using self-driving vehicles in some areas of our state. Further, reporters noted that those vehicles were seen committing traffic infractions. Understandably, this begs the question as to who will be responsible should one of these vehicles injure someone. Will it be the ride-sharing company, the vehicle’s owner, software programmers or the car’s manufacturer that’s to blame?
That’s a question yet to be formally addressed by our nation’s courts and lawmakers. And we’re not the only ones who are asking it. As far back as 2015, The Washington Post and CNN started delving into these issues. They didn’t come up with definitive answers to the bicycle safety questions self-driving cars propose and neither did The Guardian staff in a subsequent article that appeared in January 2017. However like some polled, we envision these types of cases will bring up issues of comparative and contributory negligence.
As such, all of the people we mentioned in our initial question could find themselves being named litigants. For instance, the software programmers and manufactures have a duty to ensure that the vehicles are safe for their intended use. The same may be said for ride-sharing companies and the people who purchase such vehicles. Of course cyclists must practice bicycle safety as well. Otherwise, they could find themselves on the wrong end of contributory or comparative negligence claims too. To continue discussing the additional impact self-driving vehicles may have on bicycle safety, please contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin today.
Everyone knows biking is beneficial to one’s health but do you really know how advantageous it can be? Until recently, even the scientific community didn’t fully understand the benefits. But, thanks to a long series of studies, they’re starting to appreciate the scope and breadth of the activity’s positive aspects.
In 2016, scientific journals published the results of studies conducted in the U.S. and abroad on continued bicycle use. There was one study conducted in China that showed biking could reduce depression, hospitalization and premature death in some segments of the population. It was published by Dove Press during the month of December. As avid cyclists, we know what a good ride can do for one’s mood.
One month before, PLOS One also published a study. This one was completed in Belgium and showed that cycling at work could increase cognitive function and overall work productivity. It was similar in spirit to cycling research published in BMJ Open in April 2016. That one focused on having bed-ridden, ventilator dependent people use specialized equipment to cycle in bed. It also revealed that cycling in place could improve the health of critically ill individuals.
Of course we prefer bicycling that involves going places. So, we were also pleased to see the study released in July 2016 by PLOSMedicine. It compared various forms of cycling to one another and found that although all were good for us, some forms could be better. Tops on the list were recreational and commuter rides. No surprise there. Of course the studies we’ve mentioned didn’t take into account bicycle accidents.
They can turn an otherwise healthy ride into a nightmare for all involved. Thankfully, there are ways cyclists who’ve been involved in accidents can turn things back around. To learn more about successfully recovering after a cycling accident and how having a legal team in place can help, please contact the Law Office of Gary Brustin today.
If you already didn’t know, cycling on sidewalks is illegal in most cities. Many even have fines ready for cyclist that break that law, but in Sacramento, the cycling residents of the city came to city council to discuss a new law that would allow more cycling on sidewalks to provide a safe environment for cyclists.
As it stands now, cycling is illegal in Sacramento everywhere except for residential districts. This is defined by California State Vehicle Code as areas with more than 50 percent housing. In areas that are more than 50 percent housing, cyclists are welcomed to ride on sidewalks, but in some areas in the city, police officers often find it hard to identify the percentage of housing in the area when considering whether or not to fine a cyclist.
However, it is not in residential areas that cyclists need to worry about. It is in the highly trafficked streets of the city where bicycle lanes disappear that cyclists feel they are in the most danger and want to move off the street and onto the sidewalk where the worse case is they hit a person or fall off their bike.
The proposed new law would still ban sidewalk cycling in certain areas such as commercial districts or areas where bike lanes are already present, but cycling advocates just want looser sidewalk laws in a city where traffic can be vicious and not enough cycling infrastructure is in place.
Were you forced to cycle in a busy street because of the lack of bike lanes and restrictive sidewalk laws? Contact us today. No matter what your accident was or who caused it, the Law Office of Gary Brustin fights hard for the rights of the growing cycling community.