Bicycle Clearance Laws

Many states have laws requiring motorists to keep a safe distance when passing bicycles on the road. Where these laws exist, the distance is usually three feet. Some places require more. There’s no doubt that keeping a reasonable distance is necessary for safety. The question is how much these bicycle clearance laws help.

Inadequate clearance is a factor in a relatively small proportion of bicycle accidents. Visibility problems and reckless disregard for cyclists are bigger factors. Lack of clearance can be a cause of rear-end collisions, which are especially likely to cause serious injury. Fortunately, this type of accident isn’t very common.

Enforcement is another difficulty. How often will a police officer notice that a car is passing a bike too closely? If the officer does notice, how likely is the incident to result in a ticket? The law is most likely to come into play when there is an accident. Failure to maintain required clearance can help establish that a motorist is at fault.

What is sufficient clearance?

Intuitively, the distance required for safety should increase as the speed limit goes up. However, country roads with lower speeds can be the most dangerous. They often have poorly maintained shoulders, and a cyclist may need to swerve to avoid a pothole. If a car is passing too closely, this could have deadly consequences.

Cyclists shouldn’t cling to the very edge of the road to maximize clearance. Doing that gives them nowhere to go if they encounter a bad spot in the pavement. They’re actually safer if they have some buffer space toward the edge, even if they’re closer to vehicles.

As with many situations, laws by themselves aren’t enough to make people safer. Motorists need to be aware of bicycles in the road and give them a safe berth. Cyclists need to stay as visible as possible and avoid unpredictable behavior. Clearance laws serve as a reminder, but they may not do much more than that.

If you’ve been involved in an accident while on a bicycle, contact Mr. Brustin to find out what your options are.

 

Avoiding Neck Pain While Cycling

Cycling is a great way to get around and is excellent exercise. However, people are not designed to ride a bicycle in such a way as to avoid neck and other pain. According to Cycling Weekly, people who ride bicycles for any protracted length of time are courting something called Shermer’s Neck. The constant jiggles and vibrations that you can experience starting at the handlebars and translating through the arms to the back, neck, and shoulder muscles on long bike trips can translate into neck pain unless you are very careful.

Tips for Preventing Neck Pain While Cycling

One way to prevent neck pain after a long bicycle trip is to pay attention to your position while you are riding. The key to avoiding neck pain while cycling is to properly situate your handlebars. If you must reach too far to grip your handlebars, the vibrations that translate up your arms and shoulders can result in neck pain after a trip of any duration. Make sure that you can reach your handlebars easily and that they are of the proper height. That way your arms will not be over-extended. You should also not grip the handlebars too hard while riding your bicycle.

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you develop neck pain after a long bike trip anyway. Fortunately, as a story on KABC in Los Angeles reports, a number of exercises exist that will help to alleviate any pain you might experience before you hop on your bike to go for a long-distance ride.

Use a soft foam roller across your back, arms, and chest for about ten minutes after you conclude your ride. The procedure has the same effect on a bike rider’s body as stretching exercises do for a runner. The roller will release a lot of accumulated stress, making you loose and flexible enough for a stress-free bicycle ride.

For more information contact us!

 

Valuing a Cyclist’s Personal Injury Claim

Cyclists are protected by the same laws that affect anyone using a road or sidewalk, and accidents can happen no matter how many safety precautions are taken. When cyclists are injured on a public road or sidewalk, they are usually able to claim compensation. Cyclists are often awarded compensation for injuries involving:

  • defective or faulty equipment
  • inadequately maintained roads and sidewalks
  • reckless drivers
  • aggressive pedestrians
  • other at-fault cyclists
  • and other unique circumstances.

Determining the value of an injury is an important part of any personal injury claim, and figuring out the exact amount a victim should receive in compensation can be difficult because injuries vary drastically and tend to be extremely specific to their particular cases.

What Will My Insurance Company Pay For?

The first step in determining the value of an injury claim is to know and understand the financial, physical, and emotional damages for which an insurance company may compensate a victim. 

Most liability insurance companies will compensate a personal injury victim for:

  • time spent out of work as a result of an injury
  • medical expenses
  • permanent disability
  • damaged property
  • emotional damages such as stress, anxiety, and depression
  • and negative effects on relationships with the victim’s children.

What Is My Insurance Company’s Damages Formula?

Injury claims are filed with the main purpose of applying a monetary value to expenses and suffering associated with an injury, and then awarding that value to the victim. It’s usually reasonably simple to add up medical expenses, property damages, and income lost while out of work, but there is no universal method for assessing appropriate compensation for emotional damages. So, insurance companies use a damages formula to determine the monetary value of a victim’s emotional pain and suffering.

A company’s insurance adjuster adds up the total medical expenses and uses the sum as a base number to calculate the monetary value of emotional damages. When injuries are reasonably minor, the adjuster will multiply the medical expenses by 1.5 or 2. When injuries are severe, the adjuster may multiply the medical expenses by up to 5. In extreme cases, the adjuster may multiply the medical expenses by up to 10. 

Am I at Fault?

Once the adjuster multiplies the victim’s medical expenses to determine the value of all financial, physical, and emotional damages, the company begins attempting to determine who is at fault in the injury. The company’s adjuster determines which parties are at fault and applies a percentage amount to each party. Whichever percentage of fault is applied to the victim is deducted from the damage value. 

Mr. Gary Brustin has protected cyclists’ rights exclusively for more than 20 years, handling more than 1,000 bicycle accident cases. For more information on Cyclists Rights and injury claims, contact The Bicycle Lawyer.

 

Why Pedaling Fast Doesn’t Make You Go Faster

High cadence – it is something that a few cyclists took away from Lance Armstrong. You watched him pedal his little heart out to win, and for many that translated to pedaling fast makes you go faster. However, what trips up many recreational cyclists is you don’t need to pedal like a maniac to go faster.

Are There Benefits?

If you are purposely trying to get in a high intensity workout while cycling, then by all means, pedal as fast as you can. However, a new study by the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows that there is no benefit to high cadence pedaling. It doesn’t make you go faster, it does, however, make you less efficient and work to tire you out faster.

It was discovered that while the power decreased with each pedal, which was to be expected, it pushed the body higher towards the maximum more quickly and more quickly tired out the muscles, making them less efficient. As for what actually produces the best speed for cycling, that comes unique to each rider. It is suggested that reaching top speeds is all about finding what is comfortable for each person as well as what is sustainable for their bodies.

Tips and Tricks

If your legs are struggling, go to a lower gear and increase the cadence. However, if you are left gasping for air, you will want to bring the gear up and slow down that cadence. Often the key is about being in tune with what is giving out and then adjusting your bicycle accordingly. It is not about just riding in one gear forever. If you want speed and peak efficiency, you need to know when to switch it up.

Accidents Happen

Unfortunately, with top speeds comes a risk for accidents. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, contact us today to see what we can do to get you compensation.