When cyclists think of accidents, primarily they think of accidents involving other motorists. While this is the most common type of cycling accident, motorists that do not know how to share the road with cyclists aren’t the only cause. Often there can be not another car in sight, but an accident can still happen. In these cases, often it is road hazards that are to blame.
A “road hazard” is a broad term that can cover a lot of different incidents. However, most commonly a road hazard accident is typically caused by:
- Potholes – Potholes are dangerous to all those on the road, but particularly so to the cyclist that is unaware of them. Holes caused by construction should be clearly labeled and marked off while potholes caused by long-term wear to a road can mean that those in charge of maintaining roadways are negligent.
- Sewer Grates – In many cases, sewer grates are safe to ride over thanks to efforts to make them so. However, older sewer grates lack the crosshatch safety features, making it so the grates run in the direction of travel. This, as you can imagine, is an easy trap for cycling tires.
- Rail Tracks – Rail tracks can be rough on motor vehicles and dangerous to cyclists as well. As rail tracks create uneven pavement, it can dramatically affect the balance of a cyclist or even trap the relatively thin tires of a bicycle. This danger becomes even worse if the tracks are poorly maintained.
Who is Responsible for Road Hazard Accidents?
When it comes to cycling accidents that were the fault of road hazards, often liability can be placed on many different parties depending on the unique facts of the case. Liable parties can include the state, county, city, or any public agency therein that is responsible for maintaining the roadways.
Unfortunately, unlike an accident with a motorist, liability can be difficult to assign in these cases. This is why it is crucial that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Cycling advocates like Gary Brustin will go over the unique factors of your case to make sure you get the justice that you deserve.
For many cyclists, at the first sign of snowflakes, they hang up their bike for the season and engage in some other mode of transport. However, they are missing out on one of the most fun riding experiences of life. While cycling in the snow is innately more dangerous, there are few more refreshing experiences than cycling in the snow. However, with road conditions worse and motorists still just as uninformed when it comes to sharing the road, there are a few more safety tips to consider.
You Have the Right to a Lane
The biggest issue with cycling in the snow is that bike paths are often left ignored by snow plows. Furthermore, they are often the first victims of snow bank build up as well. If you find your usual bike lane is clogged with snow, don’t be afraid to move into the lane. You have the right to the road just like any motorist and if the bike lane is too narrow or unusable, you are fully within your right to merge into traffic.
Take Turns Wider
Between the snow banks and slick conditions, taking turns on a dime with relative quickness is going to be pretty impossible. The key to riding safely in the winter is to go slow and take as much space as you need, particularly when it comes to taking turns. However, always do a shoulder check before wide turns to make sure there is not a motorist speeding up on you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dismount
Riding in the winter for many cyclists means putting on winter tires more akin to mountain bikes. However, even with proper winter tires, areas of thick snow or heavy ice can be difficult to navigate. Yet, just because you are riding your bike doesn’t mean you should have to force yourself through. If the path is too treacherous, just get off and walk it for a spell.
For many areas of the United States, winter cycling is a big time for accidents. Between sheer lack of knowledge and the stress caused by snow, accidents are more likely. However, if you have been in an accident on your bicycle, contact us today so Gary Brustin can help get you the justice you deserve.
Bicycle riders should strive to keep their riding as smooth as possible. This will help improve your biking experience, and it will also keep you safe. Here are some tips for doing so.
Clean Your Bike
Dirt and dust will make your bike more creaky. Clean all parts of your bike regularly.
Oil Your Bike
Make sure your bike, especially the chain, is oiled and lubricated. This will provide a smoother ride.
Check Tire Pressure
Deflated tires will cause your ride to be more jerky. Make sure they are filled with the right amount of air before setting out.
Make Sure the Bike Fits
You also want to fit comfortably on your bike. Adjust the bike seat and the front handlebars so that you have a comfortable sitting position when riding.
To ride more smoothly, you should be in the right position as well. Exercising or biking regularly will help you stay fit and will make biking easier. If you need to take a break to restore your breath, do so. Take around some water or an energy drink with you, especially during the hot weather. During the cold weather, make sure to bundle up so that you do not freeze.
Avoid Sudden Moves
Always be alert and on the lookout. This will prevent the need for sudden moves on your part. Be on the lookout for obstacles and moving motorists or pedestrians. Keep your hands on the brakes at all times. Brake in advance; avoid sudden jerky braking moves.
If you ever get in a bicycle accident, contact us immediately for legal help.
Planning on riding your bike at night? Bicycle night riding can be fun. It may be necessary if you use a bike as your primary source of transportation. However, there are more hazards at night. Here are some tips for riding your bicycle safely at night.
Ride In a Lit Area
Ride in a place where there is plenty of light whenever possible. If you know that there is a certain route that has more lighting, take it, even if it is slightly longer. More lighting will not only let you see your surroundings, obstacles, and pedestrians better, it will help drivers see you as well.
Most bicycle accidents occur because the driver did not see the biker. The trick is to stay as visible as possible. At the very least, look into state and local laws about bicycle riding at night and comply with any rules regarding bike lights. However, it is always a good idea to do more. Use extra lights when necessary. Make sure that your bike has reflective areas, and that you are wearing reflective clothing as well.
Be Extra Vigilant
Because of the darkness, you have to be extra cautious when riding. First of all, this means to slow down. Do not ride as fast as you usually do during the daytime. You also have to be extremely alert so that you stay aware of your surroundings and are prepared for any sudden obstacles, pedestrians or motorists that appear in your path.
For more tips on riding your bicycle safely at night or if you ever get into a bike accident, contact us immediately for legal help.