Los Angeles bike accident lawyers see and hear about tragic and preventable bicycle accidents every day. Many are caused by cars whizzing by or making turns or by a driver who just doesn’t “see” a person riding a bike, even when the bicyclist is plainly visible and result in catastrophic injuries, or even death.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who provides the latest statistics available on bicycle deaths and injuries (2010):
- 618 bicyclist deaths in one year, accounting for 2% of the traffic fatalities.
- 52,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2010.
- 18% (or about 9,000) of the injured bicyclists were age 14 and younger.
So what can bike riders do to avoid becoming another statistic? Here are a few tips for bicyclist safety:
- Obey basic traffic laws: This includes traffic lights, stop signs, one-way streets. A Los Angeles bicyclist has the same rights and duties as drivers of other vehicles on the road, as well as additional responsibilities.
- Use the bike lane when possible: If there is a bike lane, use it. Always bike in the same direction that traffic is flowing.
- Ride to the right of your lane: Or to the outside lanes on a one-way street, particularly when automobile traffic is moving faster than you are.
- Use hand signals: Use bicycle hand signals when turning, stopping, or moving from a lane.
- Lights on your bike: Use a headlight with a white light visible from ahead and a red reflector/light visible from behind when riding from sunset to sunrise or whenever there’s poor visibility.
- Yield: Be prepared to yield at all times.And give an audible warning when passing a pedestrian.
- Keep at least one hand on your handlebars: In order to help maintain control of your bicycle at all times.
- Free your hands for safe riding: Use saddlebags, racks, baskets and backpacks to carry food, water, backpacks, packages, etc… and free your hands for safe riding.
- Wear reflective clothing:Reflective clothing helps make you more visible to drivers.
- Keep your brakes adjusted: in order to keep your bicycle from skidding on clean, dry pavement when braking.
There are many bicyclists in Los Angeles and many cars. It’s imperative for automobiles drivers to be aware of bicyclists, share the road with them, and take extra caution to protect them. If you or a loved one was injured by a car or other negligent third party while riding a bike in Los Angeles, reach out to the skilled bike accident lawyers at BIKLAW today.
Founded by attorney and doctor Bradley I. Kramer, MD, Esq., BIKLAW is an aggressive personal injury law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights and finances of innocent victims.