Bicycle Riding Safety Tips for National Bike Month | Wilshire Law Firm
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Bicycle Riding Safety: Important Tips For National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month. It was established by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956, and is celebrated in communities all across the country.

One of the most important messages during this celebration is to always put your safety and the safety of those around you first, whenever you go for a ride. Biking has become one of the most popular forms of exercise for adults and kids, as well as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation in many major cities. Bikes and cars must share the road, and cyclists and drivers must always be mindful of each other in order to avoid accidents.

Here are some important safety tips everyone should follow when going for a bike ride:

Always Keep Your Bike In Good Condition

Before hitting the road, check to make sure your bike is road-worthy. Tires should be sufficiently inflated, and brakes and gears should all be operating correctly. Check to ensure your seat is securely in place, and your derailleurs are in good shape. Have regular maintenance at a reputable bike shop to prevent flats or any other malfunctions.

Know the Law

Cyclists have the same rights as drivers. It is important to be familiar with and obey traffic laws while traveling on busy streets.

Not Sure Of Yourself? Take a Class

State departments of motor vehicles and local organizations offer biking safety classes for anyone not sure of themselves when riding in traffic. A class is a great way to increase your knowledge and learn all there is to know about keeping yourself and others safe when biking.

Always Wear a Helmet

Many states and municipalities have bicycle helmet laws in place for both adults and children. Work with a local sporting goods store or bicycle shop to find a helmet that fits properly, and meets or exceeds safety standards.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

You don’t have to wear specific bike gear every time you go for a ride. Make sure, however, that your clothing is comfortable and does not interfere with your bike’s performance. When biking at night, wear a reflective vest or something brightly colored to alert drivers to your presence.

Thinking About Buying a New Bike? Get One That is Right For You

Bicycles come in many different models and sizes. You should choose one that is right for your size, weight and purpose. A local bike shop is your best resource for finding the right bicycle that will suit your needs. If you plan on mountain biking, biking to work, or just going for the occasional weekend ride, a professional can help you find a model you will be happy with.

Share the Importance of Bike Safety With Kids

Adults are not the only ones who love to cycle. We all remember the day the training wheels came off our first bicycle, and were giddy with excitement when we realized we were cycling on our own.

The old saying is true: you never forget how to ride a bike. It’s important that kids get off to a good start by being taught the importance of safe cycling.

  • All rules that apply to adults are for kids, too: Kids need to abide by the same rules that are in place to protect everyone. They must wear helmets and proper clothing, and their bikes must be checked regularly to ensure they are operating properly.
  • Sidewalk or street? In general kids under 10 should ride on the sidewalk with parental supervision. When they are older, they should ride in the street as long as they understand and obey all traffic laws.
  • Be mindful of obstacles: When kids are old enough to ride in the street, make sure they are mindful of storm grates, puddles, wet leaves, and variations in road conditions. Knowing what to expect and what to avoid will help them ride safely.
  • Never take your hands off the handlebars: Kids tend to want to impress their friends by showing off on their bikes. Taking your hands off the handlebars can lead to an accident, and possibly a serious injury.
  • No talking or texting: Talking or texting on a phone while riding a bicycle is a recipe for disaster. Distraction can lead to a serious accident, as can not being in full control of your bike. Talking or texting while biking is as big a no-no as doing it while driving. That is something both kids and adults should avoid doing.

Wilshire Law Firm takes bicycle safety very seriously. If you or a member of your family is ever involved in an accident while riding your bicycle, you have legal rights.

Find out what you can do to obtain financial compensation for injuries or damage by calling (800) 522-7274, toll-free for a complimentary consultation. You may also visit this bicycle accidents page.

Biking in the Rain

As a dedicated cyclist, you’re down to bike whenever – rain or shine, it doesn’t matter. That spirited attitude is great, as long as you take the proper cautionary measures. The rules change when the roads are wet. And you’ll have to do more than just put on a rain cape if you want to stay upright and off the pavement. The following tips may involve a little more effort, but they will help you ensure that your ride is completed without incident:

  • Give your bicycle a thorough inspection. Even if your bike seems to be working well, it’s always a good idea to inspect your bike’s most critical parts before your ride. The brakes should be in tiptop condition because you will need optimal braking power to stop on wet roads. Also make sure your wheels are locked in tight. If they pop off at an inopportune moment, you could get seriously hurt, or worse, killed.
  • Go slower than usual. When the conditions are wet, your tires have less traction, meaning you will need more time to stop or slow down. If you want to avoid skidding out, lower your speed by about 75 percent. This way, you’ll have more time to correct any traction issues.
  • Brake early and brake straight. When tires, brake pads, and rims all get wet, it takes a few extra tire revolutions before the brakes can grip the rim. Take this delay into account and brake accordingly. Also, keep in mind that brakes work best when you’re riding in a straight line. In other words, try to make a habit of braking before turning.
  • Turn slower and wider at corners. Sudden sharp turns may cause your bicycle to skid out.
  • If you skid, don’t panic. If your back wheel starts to skid and slide, just let off the brake and look straight ahead. Your bike will straighten itself out.

This information has been provided to you by the experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm. If you have any questions regarding your rights after a bike crash, call us at (866) 344-0588 for a FREE comprehensive consultation. We can evaluate your case, inform you of your best legal options, and let you know your chances of obtaining a full recovery of your damages. Since we charge zero upfront fees, there is no reason to delay – contact us today!

Safety Tips for Cyclists

According to a recent study, California is one of the worst states in the U.S. when it comes to bicycle safety. Between 2010 and 2012, cyclist traffic fatalities in California rose by 23 to 123. That’s close to a 500% increase! While many of these deaths can be attributed to the lack of helmet use and alcohol impairment, the cyclist’s primary concern remains motorists.

Whether you’re a daily commuter or weekend adventurer, keep these tips in mind to stay safe in traffic while bicycling:

  1. Bicycles are treated as vehicles; therefore follow the same laws as other drivers. This means stopping at all red lights and stop signs.
  2. The general rule of thumb is to stick to the right of lanes; however, feel free to ride in the middle if it’s necessary for your safety. It’s well within your rights to do so.
  3. Keep at least three feet between your bicycle and parked vehicles. Otherwise, you may ride straight into a car door that has suddenly been opened into your path. So-called “dooring” accidents can be serious, even fatal.
  4. Increase your visibility when riding at night. This means using a white headlight and red taillight, and wearing reflective clothing.
  5. Don’t forget that you have a bell. Ring it to signal your presence when necessary.
  6. Leave the headphones at home. Hearing your surroundings increases your awareness and thus your safety.
  7. Use hand signals when making turns. Extent your left arm straight outward for left turns; make an “L” shape for right turns; one hand down signals a stop.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, contact the trusted bicycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for legal assistance. We can help you get full and fair compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages during recovery, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about your rights and best legal options in a FREE consultation, call us today at (866) 344-0588.

Better Cycling Behavior Will Reduce Your Accident Risk

Bicycles are becoming popular as a desired mode of transport. This is because they are not only cheaper to maintain but also environment-friendly. Many people also think of cycling as a good way to exercise and explore their cities. However, to have the most fun with your bike, there is a need for you to maintain it. For without sufficient maintenance, you run the risk of getting involved in an accident or crashing your bike. Apart from maintaining your bike, there are some bad habits you should avoid. By maintaining your bike and keeping away from bad biking habits, your bike will last longer, and you will save hundreds of dollars that you could have had to pay to get your bike fixed.

Before we get to the bad habits, you should know that bicycle accident attorneys exist to help people like you. If you get injured in bicycle accident, call us and we will assign one of our dedicated, top 1% attorneys to help you with your case.

Without further ado, here are five bad habits that will wear out your bike:

  1. Not wiping your brake pads and rims: If you have a bike with rim brakes, you should always give the inside of the brakes and the rim a quick rub with a clean rag after every ride. This is because when dirt accumulates on the rim, it will considerably reduce your braking power. Also, when stones get stuck on your brakes, they will start wearing down your rims every time you use the brakes.
  2. Not sufficiently oiling the moving parts: If you are no longer enjoying your bike rides, most of the time the cause is a lack of lubrication. By not oiling the moving parts, you will make peddling harder and riding difficult. Lack of lubrication could also promote rust on your chain and gears.
  3. Leaving your bike outside: When you leave your bike outside, it will be exposed to morning dew, snow or drizzle that will make it and its components rust. Get yourself a few storage hooks and you will be able to store your bike easily in the garage.
  4. Underinflating or overinflating your bicycle tires: Before you take a ride on your bike, you should always check your tire pressure. Constantly riding with an underinflated tire will wear out your tire. Overinflating will reduce stability as it will decrease the amount of contact with the ground. This is dangerous especially on slippery or muddy grounds where more stability is required.
  5. Cross chaining: Riding your bike with your chain on the big cog at the back and at the front will put a lot of strain on your chain and cause it to wear or slip. It is also a waste of physical energy as it will require a lot of power to peddle your bike in that position.

As you can see, most of these bad habits are quite common among cyclists. The good news, however, is that you can avoid them easily. Getting to know the harm caused by these habits and many others will serve as sufficient motivation to you and your biker friends to stop these habits.

Biking is fun! However, bicyclists are exposed to more danger than motorists on our roads due to the fact that they are not as protected as car drivers. If you, unfortunately, get involved in an accident, call us and we will assign to you one of our skilled bicycle accident attorneys to help you with your case! If it is established that a car driver or any other person or organization’s negligence contributed to the accident, then you will be entitled to compensation for any damages suffered!

How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim?

In most cases, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. Since the window to file your claim can vary depending on the circumstances (e.g. the statute of limitations for cases involving government employees is six months), it is best to consult with a trustworthy attorney ASAP. Otherwise, you may miss the opportunity to pursue compensation for your damages.

How long does a bicycle accident case take?

A typical bicycle accident case in California can take anywhere from a few months to several years. There is no clear answer, though there are a few guidelines. More serious injuries usually lead to longer cases, as do liability disputes and other complicating factors. While no attorney can give you an exact figure regarding the length of your case (and don’t trust those who tell you otherwise), he or she can extrapolate an estimate from the facts of your case.

What if I was partly at fault for my bicycle accident?

Bicyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as motorists, and thus have a general duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of themselves and others. However, bicycle accident victims who are partially at fault can still get compensation for their injuries, albeit reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if the jury awards you $100,000 in damages but determines that you were 30% at fault, you would still be entitled to recover $70,000 ($100,000 – 30%).

What damages may I claim for bicycle accident injuries?

If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for the following damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage

Only by getting an experienced legal professional on your case can you ensure that the value of your case is preserved. The faster, the better.

What if my child was injured or killed while riding a bicycle?

There are a few major differences to claims where a child is injured. First, a guardian ad litem is appointed by the Court to act on behalf of the child. Second, the child’s personal injury compensation is placed into a blocked account that is made accessible only once the child turns 18. For more information, reach out to a lawyer experienced in these cases.

Do I need an attorney after a bicycle accident?

Yes, only a qualified bicycle accident lawyer can protect your rights and make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you. To discuss the specifics of your bicycle accident claim with a dedicated legal expert, call Wilshire Law Firm at (866) 344-0588. We represent bike crash victims all throughout California.

Bicycle Helmet Fit and Helmet Care Tips

Riding your bicycle without a helmet can feel amazing, until you fall and bump your head. Actually, in most cases, bumping your head doesn’t quite cover the extent of damage you may suffer, as result of a bicycle accident. Instead, you’re looking at severe injuries such as concussions, skull fractures, edemas, and, other fatal head traumas.

An easy and simple way to prevent head injuries is to wear a helmet. Sure, they might not be glamourous, but they offer necessary and life-saving protection. Take, for example, that in 2016 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported 424 fatalities, among people who didn’t wear their helmet; as opposed to the 137 fatalities involving people who did wear their helmet. Furthermore, the Guardian reports that, according to a study presented in Finland’s Safety 2016 World Conference, helmets reduce your risk of head injury by nearly 70%! With numbers like these, it’s worth your time and money to purchase a helmet.

Family of bicyclists

Putting any old helmet on won’t help much. For maximum protection, wear a helmet that fits your heard. By using these tips from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you can find the helmet that best fits you:

  • Avoid having to try on helmet after helmet. Measure your head.
  • Helmets should cover, both, the top of your head and your forehead. A properly fitted helmet should reside one to two fingers above your eyebrows.
  • Move your head forwards and backwards side to side, to check that the helmet fits your head properly. Ideally, your helmet should only move a little.
  • Your helmet should form a V shape under your earlobes, when buckled. You should only be able to fit one to two fingers under the strap. Any more room would make your helmet useless.
  • When securing your helmet, the buckle should reside under the chin. If necessary, shorten or lengthen the chin straps. Take off your helmet to make the necessary adjustments.
  • Test that your helmet fits by yawning. If your helmet does not pull down on your head, tighten the straps.

Consider comfort when choosing your helmet. You’re less likely to wear a helmet that’s stifling and uncomfortable. Make sure you choose one that offers good ventilation and is light, enough to sit on your head without putting too much weight on it.

Once you’ve found your perfect helmet, care is the next step. There’s no point investing in a good helmet, if it’s not going to last you. When it’s time to clean your helmet, check out the instructions on the manufacturer’s website. Generally, most helmets do not require special supplies to clean them. Mild soap and water is usually sufficient. It’s important to note that, according to Helmets.org, most helmets cannot survive being submerged in water for periods longer than 4 hours. Never clean or dry your helmet using a dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, or dryer. These household appliances can degrade it.

Consumer Reports offer more tips you should keep in mind, when it comes to helmet care:

  • Store it properly: Don’t leave your helmet in the back of your trunk! The intense temperatures in a trunk can affect the way in which your helmet absorbs impacts. Instead, store it in a place that is cool and dry.
  • You should never expose your helmet to certain chemicals like ammonia, bleach, paint, and other products, which could potentially degrade the shell.
  • Be wary of accessorizing your helmet: Action cameras and go-pros can be awesome accessories to have on your helmet. But the strap or adhesive mounts can damage your helmet, making it less effective!

The final tip our bicycle accident lawyers can give you is to replace your helmet after every crash. Helmets are designed and tested to be able to withstand one single impact. Using it after a collision, even a minor one, is dangerous.

Helmets save lives, that’s a fact. You wouldn’t drive a car without wearing your seatbelt (or, at least, you shouldn’t). So, why would you choose not to protect yourself, when riding your bike? Help prevent severe injuries by wearing the right helmet for you.

Remember, if you or another cyclist have been involved in a bicycle accident, contact the lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm for trusted representation. Call 1-866-344-0588 now!

Bicycle Maintenance Misconceptions That Could Cost You Time and Money

bicycle maintenance

These Misconceptions Could Also Contribute to a Bicycle Accident

Bicycle maintenance is very important when it comes to ensuring proper functioning and extended life of your bike. There are, however, some common maintenance misconceptions that riders and even bike mechanics often repeat. Any bicycle accident attorney will tell you that these maintenance practices are just a fallacy that could end up costing you both your time and money, and some of them may even put you at risk of getting involved in an accident.

So what are these common bike maintenance misconceptions?

  1. Grease is grease: Most times, standard bicycle friendly grease will work well, but if a particular part requires a specific kind of grease, it is generally for a good reason. For instance, using common bicycle friendly grease at the rear freehub will likely cause major dragging issues because of its viscosity. Similarly, the standard grease might affect the bike’s delicate seals or even react with the oils contained in the suspension brakes and forks.
  2. Degreasing that brand new chain: A lot of individuals often degrease their brand new chains because they believe that the “packaging grease” on the chain is not good to ride with. Even though there has been some recent proof that stock lube is not the most efficient lube, it is still a lubricant which a bike can be ridden with. Only degrease your chain if you intend to use a solvent-based wax lube to avoid any contamination.
  3. Lubricating cogs: This is a mistake that a lot of mechanics make. The bike chain is the main part that requires lubrication. Lubricating any other metal parts of your bike will just create filth. Your chainrings and cassettes should be kept as oil-free and clean as possible; do not lubricate them.
  4. It is okay to use power washers: Unless your sponsors provide you with brand-new bearings, do not attempt to clean your bike using a power washer. The massive pressure from the power washers will probably force the water past the bearing seals, which might in turn cause a lot of destruction. If your bike is really dirty and you want to use a hose to wash it, be very careful not to directly spray at the bearings or any other delicate parts, such as the shifters.
  5. Truck wash is good for mountain bikes: This is one of the most common bike maintenance myths. A lot of individuals are substituting bicycle specific washes with those from automotive and hardware stores. Even though these products remove the dirt without destroying the paint, they also have an effect on the disc brakes. Whatever you choose to use to clean your bike, it is best not to directly spray it on the brakes.
  6. Tighten to the highest torque: If in the wrong hands, it is possible to go wrong with the torque wrench. This is another mistake often made by a lot of riders and bike mechanics. Even though the majority of bike manufacturers give a maximum recommended torque as the figure to tighten to, this figure is really a maximum and tightening to a number less than the recommended maximum is advisable.
  7. WD-40 is a lubricant: After several years of bike mechanics advising against the use of WD-40 as a lube, it still remains to be one of the most commonly used bike lubes. Though it might make a decent solvent and grease, it is not effective as a lubricant.

In case of involvement in a bike accident caused by a negligent car driver, seeking out the services of a bicycle accident attorney would be the wisest thing to do. Your bicycle accident attorney will deal with the car insurers on your behalf and will ensure you get well compensated for the damages incurred.

How to Stay Injury-Free on Your Bicycle

bicycle accident

Health Advice from a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicycle accidents are more common than you might think. In fact, the statistics are quite alarming. According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, about 50,000 cyclists are injured and about 750 are killed in accidents in America annually. Most of the injuries are minor and do not require treatment. But many cyclists sustain severe injuries that can lead to lifelong pain and disability, as any experienced bicycle accident lawyer can tell you.

Cyclists are highly vulnerable to injuries. Crashes with motor vehicles almost always result in injuries to the cyclist. Collisions with pedestrians and other objects can also result in injuries to the cyclist. But it’s not only collisions and falls that can injure a cyclist. The stress that cycling puts on your muscles, ligaments and joints can also cause injuries. Therefore, it is up to every cyclist to take the necessary steps to stay safe when riding their bicycle.

Here are five tips on how to stay injury-free on your bicycle.

  1. Make sure your bicycle is road worthy

Bicycles with over or under-inflated tires, malfunctioning brakes, unlubricated and squeaky chain, chipped or broken pedals, and broken lights are accidents waiting to happen. No matter how good a cyclist you are, you will sooner or later get fall or get into an accident. Therefore, every time before going out riding, you should check your bicycle to see that everything is working properly.

  1. Adjust your speed according to the road

Riding at a high speed is one of the major cause of bicycle accidents. This is not to say that you should always ride slowly. You can ride as fast you like, but only where it is safe to do so. When there are a lot of pedestrians and cars, you should slow down. Where the road twists or turns or is slippery, you should slow down. You should adjust your speed according to the road conditions.

  1. Adjust your seat to the correct height

If you are in the habit of riding your bicycle with the seat fixed too high or too low, then you may suffer from a painful condition called Achilles tendonitis or Patellar tendonitis in the long run. When the saddle is too high, your feet are plantaflexed (meaning your toes are pointed down). This causes constant contraction of the calf muscles, leading to Achilles tendonitis. When the saddle is too low, your gluteal muscles are underutilized while the quadriceps muscles are overworked, leading to Patellar tendonitis. Therefore, you should adjust the seat of your bicycle to the correct height. This also prevents saddle sores, which can be caused by high seats.

  1. Strengthen your core muscles

Long hours of cycling puts tremendous stress on your spine and core muscles, leading to lower back pain and sciatica (which is a more serious condition). Your core muscles include the pelvic floor muscles, multifidus, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and internal and external obliques. When your core muscles are weak, they cannot generate enough power for long and hard rides, and supporting muscles are forced to compensate for the weakness, leading to lower back pain and sciatica. Therefore, a core-strengthening regimen should be part of your weekly routine.

  1. Continue to hold onto to the handlebars when you fall

Two of the most common injuries that occur during a crash include broken clavicle (collarbone) and broken scaphoid (carpal bone, the bone on the thumb side of your hand). These bones are vulnerable to injuries because they absorb the impact when you instinctively extend your arms to brace during a fall. You can avoid injuring these two bones by continuing to hold onto the handlebars when you are falling. This lets your entire body absorb the impact rather than by just these two bones.

In spite of taking all the necessary precautions, you can still get injured. If you are injured in an accident caused by a motorist, seek medical attention immediately and call a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as you can to learn how to file a personal injury claim.

The City Cyclist’s 10 Commandments

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 (866) 344-0588. We offer FREE consultations.

5 Tips for Bike Commuters

Ideas for Your Bike Commute

There are tons of benefits to bike commuting: you save money on gas and other car-related payments, you no longer have to deal with road rage from getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and you get exercise to boot. However, as experienced bike commuters will attest, riding to work every day can become difficult and frustrating, especially if you’re just starting out. The following tips can help you avoid amateur errors and enhance your commuting experience:

  1. Buy the right bike. Stick with a hybrid, touring, or a road bike if most of your riding will be done on asphalt streets. For multimodal bike commuting (combining transit and bicycling), a folding bike might be a good option.
  2. Get organized. Stow all your gear and accessories in a way that will not only save you time, but also prevent you from leaving behind crucial items. Store larger items in an easily accessible place, such as a wicker basket. As for smaller items (bike-lock key, lights, tire levers, etc.) place them inside a zippered bag and hang that bag from the doorknob so you remember to grab them every time you go out.
  3. Arrive wrinkle-free. Need to bring along nice formal wear for an important meeting or dinner date? Cover them in a dry-cleaning bag, and then roll it up gently before placing it in a cycling basket, bag, or other storage container.
  4. Use technology to your advantage. This is a must if you’re new to riding and live in a major metropolitan area. Apps such as Get There By Bike provide safe bike routes, among other helpful features.
  5. Thoroughly lock up your ride. A U-lock will suffice in most areas, but if you’re in an area with high theft rates, then you should double up on protection by adding a cable lock. Basically, run the U-lock between the rear wheel and seat tube, form a lasso with the cable through the frame and front wheel, and secure the lasso with the U-lock. This will help prevent essential components of your bike from getting stolen.

One last tip: Wilshire Law Firm is the go-to law firm for bicycle accident victims. If you get into an accident caused by a negligent motorist, we can help you get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To learn more about the services we provide, call us today at (866) 344-0588. We provide FREE consultations.

What Are the Risks of Carbon Fiber Bikes?

Ask any bicyclist what they consider the holy grail of bicycles and their answer will probably include the words “carbon fiber.” Compared to metal, carbon has design flexibility and is lighter, arguably more durable, rigid, and better at absorbing vibrations – basically everything the avid cyclist could ask for in a bicycle. So why wouldn’t you want one?

Well, unlike metal, carbon tends not to exhibit obvious signs of pending failure. This can be hugely problematic because when a carbon bike breaks, it usually does so in a catastrophic manner. And repairs can be very, very expensive.

bicycle accident riskMore importantly, this component of carbon bikes poses a risk to your health. Imagine what would happen if your carbon bike literally fell apart while you were riding at a high speed, on a busy street, with cars surrounding you – it’s not a pretty picture, to say the least. If you want to avoid a bad crash, keep the following in mind:

  1. In the event that you have a terrible accident on a carbon bicycle, you need the bicycle inspected. Thoroughly. Tiny, hidden fractures might exist which may cause the bike to fail suddenly.
  2. Thinking of getting wheels with carbon spokes? You might need to reconsider. While carbon spokes are lighter, they are susceptible to chipping, splitting, or breaking when struck by a stone or other object. This can lead to a disastrous wheel failure. Switch to ceramic bearings instead.
  3. Carbon fiber is a bit like a diamond – strong while not being particularly tough. Super light frames are nice and all, but they’re difficult to appreciate when they break at the worst time.

This information has been brought to you by the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle crash caused by another party, call us at (866) 344-0588 for a FREE consultation. We can help you get justice and compensation for your injuries.

The Survival Guide for New Cyclists

ventura bicycle accident

Photo from Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tips for New Cyclists

There’s nothing quite like riding down the open road while taking in the sights and sounds of your surroundings and feeling the wind whip around you – and getting some exercise to boot! Many people enjoy cycling not only for its practical benefits, such as reduced spending on gas, but also for its recreational value. A ride down the city streets or on a back country road can be a lot of fun, especially with friends and family. However, the joys of cycling come with their own caveats.

Unlike most other sports, cycling generally does not take place in a controlled environment. There are cars, pedestrians, pets, and other bicyclists sharing the road. Not only that, the road itself can pose various hazards, including potholes, slick spots, and such. While everyone on the road has a duty of care to others around them, it is up to you first and foremost to watch out for yourself.

Do you want to enjoy your bicycle rides without incident? Just remember that inattention and poor technique are your worst enemies. Use the tips below and you’ll be less likely to take a tumble.

Maintain focus and keep your head up and your eyes forward. Don’t stare at any one object. Rather, keep your vision wide while constantly scanning your surroundings for potential hazards. This will help you avoid bad scenarios before they start. Also, try not to lose yourself in your thoughts. Daydreaming cyclists end up on the road in a bad way.

Keep your bike in tip top shape. It’s your first line of defense against road hazards. Repair or replace faulty parts sooner rather than later. Playing the game of “just one more ride” is a loser’s gambit. Don’t test your luck. When something feels off, bring your bike to the shop ASAP.

Tires are everything. Make sure you use tires with a Kevlar belt under the tread to avoid dangerous punctures. Also, don’t forget to check inflation pressure every couple of days. Soft tires screw up a bike’s speed and handle. Finally, get your tires replaced before they become too worn out. Thin tires are virtually useless against pointy objects.

Avoid potholes. Swerve around them whenever possible. But what if there’s traffic or you’re surprised by a pothole you cannot possibly avoid in time? This is where the hopping technique becomes useful. Practice popping the front wheel over small cracks. Once you can achieve that, practice popping the rear wheel over the same crack. By lightly hopping your bike, you can practically glide over potholes.

Don’t ride too close to parked cars. Have you ever heard of dooring? You can probably imagine what it is by the sound of it. An occupant of a parked vehicle inadvertently opens his or her door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist, causing him or her to either swerve into traffic or collide with the door. Neither option is preferable, to put it lightly.

Be careful when crossing railroad tracks. Slow down as you approach, rise slightly off the saddle, and cross the track at a right angle. Going too fast can lead to a pinch flat and the slightest imbalance can send you sprawling. If you’ve gotten the aforementioned hopping technique down, you can jump the tracks. Just don’t forget that there are not one but two rails to clear.

Slick spots are tricky. If you can, avoid them completely. For those moments when you can’t, keep the following rules in mind: stay upright for wet metal and wet leaves, cross paint stripes as close to a right angle as you can, and when cornering slick roads, drive weight into the lowered, outside pedal to retain as much traction as possible.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where a cyclist can follow all of these safety tips to a tee yet still get into an accident because of another person or party. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact Wilshire Law Firm for legal assistance. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages during recovery, pain and suffering, and more. To discuss your case with one of our dedicated California bike crash lawyers, call (866) 344-0588. We offer FREE case evaluations.

Should You Ride your Bike on the Sidewalk?

As a regular bike rider, you’ve probably heard it before: never ride on the sidewalk. If you don’t follow this rule to a tee, then you’re more likely to crash – or so they say. In some cases, it may even be illegal. While riding on sidewalks is not outlawed throughout the state, there are many cities and counties which restrict the behavior, including Folsom and Galt in Sacramento County.

However, go down any major street in your neighborhood and chances are you’ll find a good number of cyclists riding on the sidewalk. Are they just a bunch of negligent amateurs who will eventually hurt themselves and/or others if they don’t change their ways? Maybe so, but before we reach any conclusions, let us break down the reasons why this behavior has been deemed dangerous in the first place.

Bike safety advocates assert that riding on the sidewalk is dangerous for the following reasons:

  1. Pedestrians are put at risk. Sidewalks can be full of people walking, playing, eating, and generally being oblivious to their surroundings. If a cyclist hits a pedestrian at even moderate speeds, it can result in serious injuries for both parties.
  2. It may sound counterintuitive, but cars use sidewalks all the time – at parking lot entrances and exits, driveways, and so on. And when they do, they usually stop at the edge of the road, not the edge of the sidewalk, because their primary concern is other cars. Most won’t spot a speeding bicyclist coming their way until it’s too late …
  3. Intersections become especially dangerous. As with all vehicles, visibility and predictability are the keys to safety. When a bicyclist approaches an intersection on the sidewalk, he or she may be obscured by parked cars, trees, and other obstructions, making it harder for motorists to react in time to avoid a collision.

That being said, it’s not surprising that many riders feel that they need to stick to sidewalks. After all, not all cities are equal when it comes to cycling infrastructure. When there are no adequate bicycle lanes, when the drivers are speeding, when the roads are full of potholes, grates, and other hazards – what else can you do? Sometimes, riding on the sidewalk IS the safer alternative.

We’re not encouraging bicyclists to break the law or put themselves in danger, but if you do need to ride on the sidewalk, then follow these rules to reduce your chance of hurting yourself or someone else:

  • Go slow. Period.
  • Yield to pedestrians. They have the right-of-way.
  • Exercise utmost caution when crossing intersections and driveways.
  • Only cross the street at crosswalks.
  • Walk your bike when necessary.

The bicycle accident attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm hope you have found this article useful. Please stay safe every time you go out for a ride!

Why Cyclists Should Wear Cameras

bicycle helmet camera

WLF Bicycle Accident Attorney Gives Advice

Cyclists are highly vulnerable to injuries, not only because their whole body is vulnerable to outside forces but also because car drivers often behave as if cyclists have no business being on the road. It’s quite common for cyclists to watch helplessly as the car driver who ran them down, intentionally or otherwise, is allowed to walk away scot-free due to lack of evidence. One way wronged cyclists can ensure justice is by using helmet cameras (aka on-bike cameras) to record such incidents.

Here are some reasons cycles should wear cameras:

  • Video recordings can provide strong evidence of fault

Helmet cameras have become popular among cyclists in recent years. Cyclists are aware of the dangers they face on the road every day and those who have been injured in accidents know how difficult it can be to win a personal injury claim in the absence of strong evidence. A visual account of what happened could provide crucial evidence of the driver’s fault.

Consider this scene. A cyclist is riding on the edge of the roadway. A car comes out of nowhere and knocks him down. The cyclist sustains severe injuries. The car speeds away. There are no witnesses. Fortunately, the cyclist was wearing a camera which recorded everything, and the footage clearly shows the car’s license plate number. This video recording will be a strong evidence in the cyclist’s favor in a personal injury claim.

  • Cyclists are often too dazed or injured to give an accurate account

In bicycle-car collision cases, the cyclists are often too dazed or severely injured to be able to give an account of what actually happened. The car driver, on the other hand, is uninjured and only slightly agitated. In the absence of a witness, the account the driver gives is often accepted to be true because the cyclist can’t remember what happened.

This happens to a lot of cyclists. The first thing a cyclist who has been knocked down does is to try to get back on his feet. He is in pain. His vision is blurred. He can’t think properly. It takes time for him to piece together what really happened. Meanwhile, the driver has thought up an account that favors him. Since the cyclist is confused, the driver has an advantage. But if the cyclist was wearing a camera at the time of the collision, then no matter what the driver might say, the truth will be there for everyone to see.

Bicycle accidents are very common and can happen anywhere. If you have been injured in a collision with a negligent driver, you should talk to a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options.

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