Visibility is Crucial for Bicycling Safety

Every veteran cyclist knows that when it comes to bicycle safety, one of the biggest key aspects is being able to be seen. It is a long-standing misconception that cars will always notice bicycles, but merely don’t know how to deal with them. While cars might not know how to share the road safely with cyclists, sometimes they just plain don’t spot us until it is too late.

Even if it is a sunny day or you are wearing fluorescent clothing at night, there are times when a car can’t spot you. Fluorescents don’t always show up well during night-time rides and the sun can blind drivers to cyclists in certain circumstances. In order to be better seen on the road, consider these tips.

  • Wear reflectors and mount them on your bike
  • Front and rear lights are recommended and should be set in the flashing position
  • Use hand signals well ahead of time so the following motorist will know what you will be doing
  • Keep at least one ear free of headphones so you know what is going on around you
  • Use your cycling lights during the day as well

Combining these visibility and awareness tips with your standard bicycling safety tips like always wearing a helmet will work to help prevent accidents with vehicles, but sadly it doesn’t completely stop them from happening. There is still a long way to go before most drivers know how to properly share the road with cyclists, and until then accidents will happen. If you have been in a cycling accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to being an advocate for the rights of cyclists.

Illinois Passes New Law On How to Safely Pass Cyclists

Thanks to cycling advocacy groups throughout the state, Illinois will now have a new law for motorists that will not only help to improve cyclist safety but improves traffic flow as well. This law comes after years of motorist likely unknowingly breaking traffic laws or just putting cyclists in danger because they simply don’t know how to deal with a common occurrence – passing them.

Effective January 1st, not only will cyclists be permitted to use road shoulders instead of just the traffic lane, but motorists will also be able to pass them in no-passing zones. Passing cyclists has been an issue in almost every state. In most states, including Illinois, when a motorist approaches behind a cyclist in the traffic lane going much slower than the posted speed limit, most drivers are unsure of what to do. Do they violate the law and pass in a no passing zone? Do they try and pass them in the same lane anyway, putting the cyclist in danger? Hopefully, now they will know.

However, this new law is not without its stipulations. First and foremost, when passing any cyclist, whether they are in a traffic lane or move over to ride on the road shoulder, requires three feet of clearance between the car and the bicycle in order for drivers to pass them in any circumstances. However, in no passing zones, in order to legally cross over into the oncoming traffic lane, the cyclist must be going at least half of the posted speed limit.

While this will do wonders to help riders and drivers in Illinois safely share the road with each other, it is likely accidents will still happen. Not everyone hears of updated road rules after all. If you have been in a bicycle accident in the Los Angeles area, contact us today.

Distracted Driving: When Failure to Pay Attention Negatively Impacts Lives

As Max Wasserman of The Daily indirectly noted back in late July 2017, distracted driving isn’t just something that plagues motorists and pedestrians. In places all across the country, it’s having a negative impact on cyclists as well. For further proof about the wide-spread nature of this problem, check out the letters New York Times’ Editor, Dean Baquet, received in early August 2017. They too tell the tale of what daily distractions are doing to this country, beyond the rising accident statistics.

There’s the physical and psychological damage cyclists experience to contend with as well. In June 2017, Reuters’ published the results of a bicycle accident study conducted in our own State of California. It clearly showed that medical related expenses alone may cost cycling enthusiasts thousands of dollars per accident. Of course, that estimation doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the incidents’ true cost, which often includes loss of future wages, bouts of anxiety and permanent disabilities.

For example, did you know that people involved in bicycle accident may find themselves diagnosed with PTSD? It’s true and such occurrences are widely noted by Family Doctors. Those cyclists unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with the condition may suffer irreparably damaged relationships as well as lifelong battles against giving in to depression, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.

As such, it is imperative that our nation’s governing bodies consider implementing measures designed to do more than just penalize distracted drivers. They must ensure the safety of cyclists and provide ways to obtain damage relief as well. Unfortunately, not all governing bodies or accident attorneys are well versed in bicycle law. As such, they may not be adequately prepared to fight for the rights of those whose lives have been impacted by bicycle accidents.

At the Law Office of Gary Brustin, we are prepared to represent and fight for the rights of bicycle accident victims as well as their families. To learn more about what we do and why, please contact us directly today.

Biking in Big Cities: PA/NJ Cyclists Receive Much Needed, Brotherly Love

Philadelphia may be more than 2,200 miles away from our law offices in California but no matter. Distance cannot stop the kinship we feel with those who think of biking as a way of life. Accordingly, we were pleased to read about what The Delaware River Port Authority is doing for fellow bikers who call the City of Brotherly Love and New Jersey their respective homes.

In case you missed it, they’re about to launch a cycling focused, construction project that may go a long way in preventing biking accidents on bridges. We’re excited for them and can’t wait to see what the proposed ramp will look like in 2019 when it’s expected to be open to the cycling public. In addition to preventing accidents, we sure it, as well as the revamped Circuit Trails, will make the area more pleasant for local and out-of-town bicycling enthusiasts alike.

Some may recall that California has had its own share of bridge-related, biking accidents. As a matter of fact, a high-profile one occurred earlier this year. It was so horrific, that it was covered by national media sources, including but not limited to the LA TimesGrindTVSB Nation, and Esquire Magazine. Those affiliated with the Delaware River’s Port Authority are no doubt hoping their plans will help prevent similar occurrences and more from happening there.

But what about bicycle enthusiasts who don’t live anywhere near Pennsylvania or New Jersey? Will they see relief from bicycle accident related problems in the coming months too? In a word, the answer is, “Maybe.” As it stands now, Californians involved in bridge related, bicycle accidents must generally turn towards the court system for relief and that can be a tough road to travel without legal representation. To learn more about what people and their bicycle lawyers are doing in our state about that, please contact Attorney Gary Brustin today.