Ohio is one of the most unsuspecting states to be bicycle friendly, but with more riders taking to the road in their largest cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati, the state’s government has been forced to take notice. This has led to a slew of new cycling friendly laws including this latest one that allows cyclists to still get around despite aging infrastructure.
The problem on many city streets in Ohio is that bicycles often have a problem triggering a light change at the detector. This means that a cyclist and the cars behind them could be forced to wait until a car in the other lane triggers the change. However, with the new law, cyclists can now bypass this.
The new cycling law states that in the event of this situation if the cyclist is able to check that both directions are clear, they can ride through a red light. However, cars will still have to wait unless there is a clear malfunction with the light. This law was so desperately needed that Governor John Kasich attached an emergency clause so it went into effect right away.
Attached to the bill, was another new motor vehicle and cycling law that required motorists to give at least three feet of passing space between their vehicle and a bicycle, joining more than a dozen states that already have similar laws.
While this is great news for riders in Ohio, accidents are still bound to happen. No matter how safe a state makes it for cyclists, uninformed motorists will still be a danger. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident and need legal representation, contact us today.
Bicycles are subject to all of the same laws as automobiles when riding on the road. For the most part, this is entirely for the safety of the cyclist, but it also helps keep traffic flowing and predictable. Although this has been the longstanding law, there is one key amendment that is taking shape early 2017 in California that could shake things up.
According to California Assembly Bill 1103, cyclists would be allowed to legally treat stop signs as yield signs.
“This bill would … authorize a person operating a bicycle approaching a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping, unless safety considerations require otherwise.”
While controversial, this bill may prove to increase the safety of the discerning cyclist if used properly. “The longer it takes for a bicyclist to pass through an intersection, the greater likelihood that they’ll get hit by an oncoming vehicle …” said Jay Obernolte, one of the assemblymen who introduced the new measure.
However, there are some that disagree:
“Joel West, an Oceanside resident who has worked in his community on transportation issues, said the bill is a bad idea that will encourage bad habits. If enacted, he predicts that instead of cautiously riding through stop signs, bicyclists will completely blow through them because the law gives them the discretion to determine what’s safe.”
No matter what the verdict is, it is evident that potential revisions are coming to the longstanding laws for cyclists on the road.
Don’t hesitate to contact Gary Brustin with any questions regarding local cycling laws.
Biking is generally a very safe sport, but not without some inherent dangers. Following a few general bicycle safety recommendations will dramatically reduce your chances of injury.
1. Wear a helmet.
This tip cannot be stressed enough; in many states, it is the law that you wear a bicycle helmet. Wearing a helmet is the cheapest and easiest way to stay safe on your bicycle, regardless of state laws. Also, if your helmet gets damaged in any way, it is now unsafe to use. Replace it immediately with a brand-new helmet.
2. Get regular professional bike tune-ups.
Ensuring that your bicycle is always in good shape is an excellent way to stay safe. Loose bolts, worn components, and worn tires create unsafe riding conditions and will increase your risk of an accident. Bring your bicycle into a local bike shop to get the recommended tune-ups regularly.
3. Keep your eyes open.
Be attentive to your surroundings when cycling. Constantly look at the pavement ahead to avoid any nasty potholes or curbs, and be aware of any nearby traffic. Riding your bicycle distracted is certainly a recipe for disaster.
4. Know your comfort level.
Don’t ride your bike on a busy road if it makes you uncomfortable. Practice safe riding techniques on side roads and residential streets before you attempt to ride on busier roads, and even then avoid riding during rush-hour.
These are just a few general safety recommendations bicycles. Contact us if you have any questions about filing a claim for a bicycle-related accident.
Biking near traffic on city streets is challenging, even in bike-friendly cities. It is key that you take the necessary steps to avoid bicycle accidents even before you get on the road.
1. Inspect your bike before you ride.
Make sure to check your brake calipers and brake pads, tire pressures, and give your frame a quick visual inspection for any cracks, fractures, or significant dents that could be hiding. Lastly, double-check the tension on the quick release levers on your wheels (if applicable).
2. Ride defensively.
It is important to ride as if nearby cars cannot see you. Try to predict the next move of automobiles near you. Riding defensively will help you be more aware of the flow of traffic: sudden change of lanes, fast stops, or even accidents will be effectively predicted with defensive riding.
3. Follow all traffic laws.
Bicycles on the road are subject to the same traffic laws as automobiles. Just a few examples are: signal turns with your arms, stop at all stop signs and stop lights, and ride within speed limits.
4. Ride predictably.
Many drivers are uncomfortable driving near cyclists. Riding predictably helps them anticipate your next move. Don’t make any sudden route changes or stops even if you are in the bike lane.
5. Be seen.
Wear bright-colored and reflective clothing for the best chance of being seen by an automobile. If you are riding on a low-speed residential road without a bike lane, while it may seem counterintuitive, riding closer to the center of the lane will help you be seen by automobiles behind you. This requires them to slow down and find a safe stretch of road to pass. Riding far on the edge of the road puts you in the driver’s periphery vision and can make you invisible to distracted drivers.
Although these five tips will significantly reduce the likelihood of bicycle accidents, they still happen. Contact us to ensure that you get full compensation.