When it comes to bike safety, everyone knows the drill, get a bell, get a helmet etc. But most of the specifics about what to do and what not do when it comes to bike safety is a bit odd, the reason I say this is because most of the safety tips are for being safe when you get hit. What we should in fact be doing, is preventing getting hit in the first place. And if it does happen, we know that we have done the most we can to stay safe and then hand the case over to a personal injury attorney.
It’s better to know you are right and didn’t do anything wrong in the first place, and Los Angeles is like any other city for cycling accidents. Drivers hardly take notice of other cars let alone cyclists. A recent advertising study showed billboard ads had dropped in visual impact by 35% over the last few years. A modern car just has too many distractions, radio, TV, mobile phone, DVD player. So what can YOU do to be sure YOU did everything you could to stay safe before a cycling accident.
- The Side Swipe-40% of cycling accidents involve being hit from the side. The reason is simple. Cyclist always “ride the curb” thinking it prevents being hit from behind. Chances are the guy behind knows where you are, since you are in his lane. It’s the guy crossing the junction who cant see you for the trees that is most likely to hit you. Ride a more central line in the road, use a headlight, wave if you have to. But as soon as you get to a junction make sure people crossing it can see you.
- The Door Shunt-Riding alongside parked cars in Los Angeles you can be sure that at least one person will open the door without looking. If you hit, not only do you hit a glass topped car door, you might hit the occupant too as he/she steps out. Again don’t ride the curb, stay out and bet that the guy overtaking will give you a wide berth, at least he can see you, the guy stepping out of his car cannot.
- Cross walk Chaos-If for some reason you find yourself crossing a cross walk on your bicycle, you can be sure that a driver turning right will at some point nearly kill you. The reason is simple, they are looking for people, not bikes. Not only that but bike speed is hard to judge, you might be clearing that cross walk slower than he expected. My advice is stick to the roads and avoid this bike accident.
- Wrong Way-We all did it once, the street is dead, your going down a left turn, you cross into the oncoming lane and cut the corner. Unfortunately with the amount of near silent electric cars on the road you could be lining up for a Prius sandwich. However quiet the road is, stay in you lane and go the long way.
- Wrong Side Of A Red Light-This goes back to riding the curb. Chances are if you do you will not be able to cross into the middle when you get to a red light. So you are now trapped between the curb and the line of cars. Problem is when that first guy forgets to indicate and turns right, you’re crushed. Stay central, don’t worry about the traffic behind, it’s the guys in front you need to focus on.
Enjoy your ride and stay safe. As always wear a helmet and be sure you have our free app