bicycle safety -

Column Explores Los Angeles’s Burgeoning Bike Infrastructure

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 5, 2014

A new article in the Los Angeles Times finds the author trying to come to terms with the city’s expanding bicycle culture.  In the process, though, he discovers that there is still room for improvements if he (and others) are going to feel safe commuting alongside bustling thoroughfares.  Los Angeles has been rapidly adding bike lanes with the admirable goal of getting 5% of commutes to be via bike in the future, but at the moment, there are still plenty of roads that don’t offer protection in the form of bike lanes or even more expansive safety measures.  The author calls for bikeways as a means of truly protecting citizens and points out the various other types of infrastructure that have made other cities safer for cyclists.

Click here for the full column.

Cervelo P5 Bicycles Recalled By 3T Design Over Control Loss Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on February 5, 2014

Bikes imported by the Carlsbad, California-based Focus Bicycles USA are being recalled because of a safety issue that could lead to user injury.  3T Design announced the recall, which affects Cervelo P5 bicycles of the 2012 through 2013 model years.  The recall pertains to the estimated 1,300 bikes around the country that could have 3T Aduro handlebars.  Detachment of the forward extension mounts is a possibility, and when that takes place, control may not be possible and the rider could find himself or herself steering into an obstacle or falling off the bike.  A broken collar bone has already been reported, as have 27 other incidents.  New handlebars can be obtained from 3T Design, and in the meantime, the bike should not be ridden.  These bikes were sold between May 2012 and August of last year.

For more about the recall, click here.

4,600 Folding Bikes Recalled By Watsonville Firm Over Fall Risk

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 30, 2014

The Watsonville, California-based West Marine Products has announced the recall of two types of folding bikes that are supposed to be used in the vicinity of marinas.  The recall affects an estimated 4,600 Port Runner 2 and Jetty Express 2 bicycles that were available for sale across the country between March 2010 and last July.  The frames of these bikes are in danger of breaking, and when that happens, the person riding at the time could suddenly fall and sustain an injury.  Scrapes and bruises have already been reported in three incidents that have occurred in association with the bikes, and to ensure that will be the end of the danger, owners are being asked not to ride the bicycles.  Instead, replacements can be obtained from the company.

Follow this link for more about the recall.

Ride Raises Cycling Safety Awareness In San Fernando Valley

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 27, 2014

This past Saturday, the San Fernando Valley area played host to a bike ride that attempted to raise awareness about the importance of cycling safety in nearby environs.  One thing that was stressed during the event was the importance of choosing the most opportune route before heading out on a bike commute.  By emphasizing a course that takes one on roads with the infrastructure to support safe riding (i.e. bike lanes), riders take an important step toward ensuring their own protection.  A member of the Los Angeles Police Department interviewed for a story about the ride noted that motorists must make sure to respect the rights of cyclists while cyclists must be aware of their surroundings.

Click here for more about the ride.

Inflatable Bike Helmet Aims To Improve Safety

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 14, 2014

A Swedish company called Hodving is touting the ability of a bicycle helmet that can inflate the moment before impact, protecting a user from the more serious damage that may otherwise result.  For roughly $546, a user can purchase the product, which looks pretty different from what many expect to see in a helmet.  When worn, it looks like you’ve draped a scarf around your neck, but the actual usage of the device becomes clear when a collision is imminent.  The scarf inflates to encase the user’s head, and its inventors claim that it offers more protection than a regular helmet.  One study showed that straight impacts could be better absorbed by this type of device.

Follow this link for more about the helmet.

Cycling Precautions Must Extend Throughout The Winter

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on January 8, 2014

In many parts of California, the weather is sufficiently nice to allow cyclists to pilot their conveyances at just about any time of the year.  As such, it’s important for drivers and cyclists alike to ensure that the precautions they extend to each other in the summer are also in practice during the winter.  This may be accomplished in part by enacting some of the tips on hand from a Commander with the Police Department of Rome, New York.

First, make sure that your bike is in the proper condition, especially if you’re going to be piloting through a cold or even slick environment.  And although you might want to bundle up when the weather is particularly frigid, make sure that the items you’re putting on aren’t compromising safe riding.  Make sure your helmet fits properly and that you can still properly grip the pedals and the handlebars.

Always understand that a bicycle in traffic is required to submit to the same rules as your average automobile.  If there’s a red light or a stop sign, stop there until the appropriate time.  Signal your intentions via the use of hands and don’t go barreling onto the sidewalk, something that cyclists may be tempted to do but that would be exceedingly dangerous.

Finally, don’t be distracted.  Make sure you know what’s going on all around you by not listening to music or using your phone while riding.

Help Children Stay Safe Atop Their Bikes

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 30, 2013

Children are still out of school, and many have no doubt spent the past few days playing with the myriad toys that they received for the holiday.  In the state of California, where we can expect warm weather all throughout the year, many of those kids may have spent the intervening days riding their shiny new bikes around the neighborhood.

If a bicycle was one of your child’s gifts under the Christmas tree, it’s up to you to make sure that the product isn’t going to pose any kind of hazard.  Thankfully, Cape Coral, Florida’s Fire Department has released an important series of tips focused on making sure that bike is as safe as it could possibly be.

First, make sure that you’ve put the bike together properly, and even think about adding a few accessories that didn’t necessarily come as standard equipment on the particular bike that your child received.  That means the installation of lights that can leave no question as to the presence of a child on a bike to drivers, and reflectors that further ensure headlights will have something to catch.

The most important piece of equipment, though, is something that doesn’t actually go on the bicycle itself.  We’re talking about a helmet, which can go a long way toward preventing a concussion or other serious injuries should your child take a fall or be involved in some type of an accident.  If you haven’t already bought this helmet, take your child with you to make the purchase so that they can pick one out and you can be sure it encases their head properly.

Of course, all of this equipment could be for nought if the child doesn’t know the proper manner in which to ride.  If this is their first bike, they obviously are going to need instructions from you as to how to ride safely.  Children should know to respect the presence of motor vehicles and to only cross at intersections where doing so is to be expected by drivers.  Have them keep their heads forward with their eyes constantly scanning the environment, especially in residential areas where a vehicle might suddenly speed out of a driveway.  You might even teach your children the appropriate hand signals to use so that they’ll always be able to let nearby traffic know their intentions.

After a couple weeks go by, revisit the bike to make sure that it still suits your child’s frame.  Your child should be able to bring their feet to the ground without straining, otherwise they could easily lose balance and suffer a fall.  Finally, make sure the various components of the bike are all properly aligned and free of damage, and see to any necessary repairs at once.

Citizen Wonder About Effectiveness Of New Bike Passing Law

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 30, 2013

Next September will find motorists required to provide cyclists with three feet if they’re going to pass those persons in traffic, and a new report takes a look at the uncertainty that surrounds the law even before it has been enacted.  The worry among some cyclists is that drivers won’t be able to properly judge when they’re giving cyclists an ample amount of room.  Others figure that there would be many drivers who simply don’t pay attention to the new law.  Previously, drivers were supposed to keep an undefined safe distance from cyclist, but just how far that distance was could be left open to interpretation.  On the other side of the traffic equation, some drivers accuse cyclists of unsafe riding, something a member of the Indio police says is only applicable to a small portion of the cycling population.

For more opinions on the matter, click here.

Californians Must Get Ready For New Traffic Laws in 2014

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 26, 2013

With January 1 less than a week away, citizens of California have to be cognizant of some of the changes in traffic law that are bound to affect them in the future.  The legislature has passed certain rules that will require you to alter the way you approach motor vehicle operation.  A news release from the California Department of Motor Vehicles relates those laws, and in doing, it necessarily offers hints as to how to stay on the right side of the law and boost your own safety and that of others.

One of the new laws concerns teenagers at the wheel.  If you have a child of driving age but under the age of 18, then it’s important that you continue to stress the need to refrain from the usage of a cellular device while driving.

Currently, it’s illegal for all drivers, not just teens, to send a text while at the wheel of a vehicle.  Drivers are also barred from using their phones to carry on a handheld phone conversation.  One thing that is still legal for all demographics is the sending or reading of a text message by way of a hands-free device.  That changes on January 1, when teenagers will be prohibited from using even a hands-free device to interact with text-based communications.

This is important, as one can’t underestimate the distraction that even a device not requiring manual manipulation may create.  Even if the message is read or input perfectly via voice command, the driver will still necessarily face a mental distraction.  Plus, the chance that the message is taken down perfectly isn’t very high.  Persons may have to double-check the message, another act that will take the eyes and the mind off the road.

Drivers are going to be required to be more responsible in how they share the road with persons on bicycles.  The Three Feet for Safety Act offers protection to cyclists in the form of a a three foot cushion that drivers are supposed to provide such commuters on bikes when they set out to pass.

Although this law won’t actually be enacted until next September, it’s best to keep safety paramount and start providing drivers with that cushion now.  In areas where the three foot space can’t be provided, speed must be slowed appropriately and drivers must ensure their actions won’t put cyclists at risk.

One other law would allow drivers with learner’s permits from out of state to take their commercial license test within California.  The information would then be provided to the state that the person is seeking the license in.

For more new laws and how they affect you, make sure to click the link above.

Editorial Seeks Improvements In Ventura County Cycling Safety

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on December 26, 2013

A new editorial in the Ventura County Star finds a member of an organization called VCCool calling for the construction of segregated bike lanes in roads throughout the area.  These are different from bike lanes painted along the side of the road, as the segregated lanes actually offer additional separation between bikes and automobiles.  She notes that while segregated bike lanes can reduce injuries by as much as 90%, regular bike lanes may only reduce them by half.  Not surprisingly, the University of British Columbia research she references notes that roads without any kind of bicycle protection are the most hazardous.  To protect bicyclists, communities throughout California will need to invest heavily in the types of strategies that take into account the rights of cyclists as much as drivers.

Follow this link for more information.

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