Bicycle Rider Safety Tips
Bicycle Safety & Accident Prevention
Adequate bicycle safety and accident prevention requires the efforts of bicyclists, motor vehicle drivers and law enforcement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds drivers of the importance of sharing the road with bicyclists and showing them respect on the roadways. They recommend that drivers give bicyclists a minimum of three feet of clearance when passing, to look out for bicyclists while at intersections, pulling into and out of driveways or parking lots, etc.
Since 1992, Scott J. Corwin has successfully represented more than 3,000 injured victims and obtained recoveries totaling over $115 million. He is one of fewer than 700 attorneys nationwide who are members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
While drivers can do a lot to prevent bicycle accidents, often the responsibility falls on cyclists to protect themselves from accidents. The following are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Always wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury in a bicycle accident. All bicycle riders, regardless of age, where you ride or how long you ride, should wear a properly fitted helmet. Head injuries afflict thousands of riders every year due to how exposed cyclists are while riding.
- Follow the rules of the road. Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators in the eyes of traffic laws. As such, they are required to observe all laws that vehicles are obliged to observe, including obeying traffic signs, signals and lane markers, right-of-way rules, and respecting others on the road.
- Ride with traffic. When cycling in the street, bikers are required to ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Riding your bicycle on the sidewalk is against the law.
- You want to always stay as visible as possible when riding. Never assume that a car or truck driver sees you. It is always better to err toward caution and wait to cross the street or take a turn until you are certain you are not at risk for being hit by an inattentive motorist.
- Increase your visibility. You can further increase your visibility while biking by wearing florescent, brightly colored and/or reflective clothing at all times during the day. For night rides, use a front light and a red reflector or flashing light at the rear. Use retro-reflective tape or markings on clothing and equipment as well.
California Helmet Laws
In California, only those bike riders under the age of 17 must wear a helmet. Many believe these helmet laws should extend to all bike riders. After all, adults are just as vulnerable to head injuries in bike accidents as children are. Regardless of what the law says, more and more adult cyclists wear helmets voluntarily because riders and cyclists know how important helmets are to personal safety. We recommend all bicycle riders always wear a helmet when bike riding.
Contact Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, schedule a free initial consultation by contacting our office in Los Angeles at 866-477-1011. We represent clients throughout Southern California in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Riverside counties.