los angeles bike crash

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Tips if You Ride a Bike in the City

When bicycling in a big city, it’s crucial to keep track of everything that is going on in your surroundings – the movement of motorists, the locations of road hazards, etc. – because even a single oversight can lead to a world of pain, and consequent medical bills.

However, vigilance can only help you to an extent. Some dangers can come seemingly out of nowhere, not even giving you the time to react. Therefore don’t just rely on your senses and reflexes, but also know what to expect in certain situations and how to take the appropriate preventative measures. Exercising forethought in this manner will contribute to your safety, and the safety of others.

Keep these 10 Commandments in mind every time you’re riding on the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, or some other big city in California:

  1. Keep a distance from taxis. This isn’t so much about taxi drivers as it is about taxi passengers. A passenger may decide to exit a taxi at any time, so be sure to keep out of their range.
  2. Don’t ride at night if you don’t have lights. Not only is it illegal to ride at night without a front headlight and reflectors, but it is also incredibly dangerous.
  3. Watch out for the “right hook.” Exercise special caution when approaching an intersection, driveway, or empty parking space. Negligent drivers will turn right without checking.
  4. And don’t forget the “left cross.” Take a close look at the driver across the intersection waiting to make a left turn. If he or she is not making eye contact, assume he or she doesn’t see you and act accordingly.
  5. Beware of getting “doored.” Do NOT hug parked cars to make room for passing traffic. You’re much more likely to be doored than to be hit from behind.
  6. Get your starts straight. In other words, avoid wobbling when you launch from standstill. You can get rid of this bad, and potentially dangerous, habit by practicing until you get it right, preferably in a large empty space.
  7. Assume drivers of large vehicles (buses, trucks, etc.) cannot see you. Always, always give these vehicles a wide berth. The same goes for any vehicle towing a trailer.
  8. Plug your handlebar ends. They’re not just there for decoration. In fact, they’re essential safety components. We won’t go too deep into detail – let’s just say that the plugs will prevent you from taking a core sample of yourself in a crash. Definitely not something you want to experience, ever.
  9. Follow all signals and signs. Bicyclists get enough guff as it is. Do a favor for the cycling community and obey the law.
  10. Always get the driver’s information after an accident. This includes the license plate number, name, insurance info, and contact info. The same goes for witnesses.

Here’s a bonus commandment for all Californian cyclists: if you get into an accident caused by another party, contact the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm for legal assistance. Our firm has helped injury victims all throughout the Golden State win more than $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts. To learn more about the services we provide, call (800) 522-7274. We offer FREE consultations.