Is It Time To Replace Your Bicycle Helmet?

As your most important piece of safety equipment, it is crucial you maintain your bicycle helmet so that you can have your head protected on every ride you take. However, while it seems pretty sturdy, a helmet doesn’t last a lifetime. It needs to be replaced, and too few cyclists realize that. So when should you replace your bicycle helmet?

Have You Been in a Crash?

Some damage to a helmet is pretty obvious. If you can see cracks or splinters, then that is a pretty obvious sign that you need to replace it. However, not all damage is obvious. If you have been in a crash where you fell on your helmet, then the integrity of it could very well be compromised. In the next crash, your head may not be protected quite as well.

What’s the Shelf Life?

Believe it or not, most manufacturers put a shelf life on their helmets. Typically it is recommended to replace them every 3 to 5 years. This might be a ploy to sell more helmets, but typically age can affect the integrity of the materials. That being said, helmets are made with safer and safer materials each year as well.

Does Your Helmet Fit Properly?

This is more typical of children, but it can happen with adults too. Sometimes you just outgrow your helmet or you find that it doesn’t fit as well as it should. If your helmet doesn’t fit properly, it is definitely time to replace it since it clearly won’t do its intended job.

Bicycle helmets protect you, but not all of you. If you have been in a cycling accident and want to make sure your injuries are coveredcontact us today.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Damage?

While we have a whole checklist of things to check before riding, checking our insurance coverage probably isn’t one of them. In fact, most of us would probably rather read the dictionary than what our insurance covers. However, it isn’t until you get into a bicycle accident that you begin to wonder, does auto insurance cover bicycle damage?

The short and probably surprising answer is that yes, it does. This usually catches people off-guard since a bicycle doesn’t have a motor. However, when we buy automobile insurance, we are not only buying protection in case we harm others with our automobile, but also if other automobiles harm us. This doesn’t matter if you are in an automobile or on a bicycle, as long as the crash happened with at least one automobile it should be covered by insurance. In many cases, except for the event in which the driver actually drives off without exchanging information, the automobile driver’s insurance will pay for any damages to the bicycle. However, if they do drive off, your UM coverage (uninsured/underinsured coverage) will cover the damage as a sort of hit and run situation.

If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, you may need more than auto insurance to cover all your damages. Not only might your bike be trashed, but you could be seriously injured as well. If this is the case, contact us today so the Law Office of Gary Brustin can help get you and cyclists like you the justice they deserve in a world still learning to share the road.

How to Ride Safely in a Bicycle Group

When it comes to road cycling, typically riders are pretty knowledgeable about the rules. It is the drivers that tend to be less knowledgeable. However, while riding solo is pretty intuitive, riding in a group can be a much different experience. Many solo riders who group up for the first time find this out the hard way. So for the solo cyclist getting ready for their first group ride, here are some tips.

  • Call Out Cars – When riding as a group, there are a few blind spots. The bikes up front often aren’t aware of cars in the rear while the riders in front have first sight in cars up front. Good front and rear guards will call out cars with “car up” or “car down” respectively so the cyclists can tighten up the group structure.
  • Ride Two by Two or Single – When you are in a cycling group, you may feel a bit safer riding three deep because it feels like you actually have a presence on the road. However, if you start taking up an entire lane going at bicycle speed, don’t be surprised if you get some honks. Typically, you want to ride two deep so the car feels like it can pass you, but will still pass you properly by going into the other lane for safety.
  • Leave Car Spaces on Uphills – If you are going uphill, around a curve, or on a narrow road, spread your group so there is a car’s length space between each biker. This allows cars to pass safely in between without trying to bypass the whole group at once.

It may seem like riding in a group is safer, but no amount of cyclists will make it safe if drivers don’t know how to deal with them. If you have been in a cycling accident with a car, contact us today.

In Montana, Bicycle Laws Could Limit Cyclists to Roads With Wide Shoulders Only

As cyclists, we crave that wide shoulder of a road. Smooth asphalt makes our tires sing as we share space with our fellow drivers. We know how short and sweet those wide, open shoulders can be, and that shoulder is usually gone before we know it. Given that roads weren’t exactly created for cyclists, we won’t argue with a 2-lane highway, especially if it winds through those sweet mountain views. However, politicians in Montana have proposed a bill that would ban cyclist from riding on roads with little to no shoulder.

In this unprecedented bill proposal, proponents of the ban have created a clear message that safe motor-vehicle skills are not the prerogative. Rather than work towards safer roads for cyclists, ignoring bike path creation altogether and refusing to implement cycling safety overviews to new drivers, this bill favors impatient drivers. Even though the bill’s life span ended in late April of this year, we can’t help but be disappointed in the priorities set forth in this proposal in Montana.

We Need to Support Cyclists

It’s obvious that “Share the Road” messages are not enough for motor vehicles and bicycles to coexist on 2-lane roads, especially when legislation like this arises. We need supporters who listen, advocate and have first-hand experiences with road cycling when cyclists’ needs fall on deaf ears. Drivers need to cycle, and cyclists need to drive in order for a grassroots understanding to unfold. And when accidents happen, we need advocates to fight for our cyclists out on those narrow, 2-lane highways.