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The Code of the Road: How to Avoid Bike Accidents in Los Angeles

Sep 10, 2008
With over 1200 bike accidents on the roads of Los Angeles each year, nearly four per day, the city is the most dangerous place for cyclists to ride in all of California. If you are planning to ride a bicycle in Los Angeles then you don't simply need to understand the rules of the road, but you should also know defensive biking tactics so you can avoid any risks that may come your way.

Since Los Angeles is an extremely busy city, people tend to be in a rush. If a driver sees a rare break in traffic for an opportune left turn, they may not have their eye open for the cyclist that is heading their way until it is too late. By understanding your surroundings and preparing for the risks, you can decrease the possibility that you'll be involved in a bike accident.

Here are five tips for you to use so you can avoid bike accidents in a busy city such as Los Angeles, California:

1. Obey the Laws: Traffic laws in Los Angeles have been created for the sole purpose of limiting accidents; regardless of whether you are driving or cycling. Some cyclists feel as though it is okay for them to ignore the rules of the road, but this only leads to unpredictable behavior. If other people on the road cannot predict what you are going to do, then you are at a much higher risk of being involved in a bike accident than if you followed the law.

2. Stay Alert: Los Angeles, like any other city, has its fair share of bad drivers and road hazards. You need to be prepared for anything that might come your way: a car door opening in your path, a vehicle turning your direction, somebody driving too closely, a pedestrian stepping onto the road, or anything else that may happen.

3. Be Visible at All Times: One of the most common excuses people use in California when they hit a cyclist or a pedestrian is that they didn't see them. Most drivers in Los Angeles are watching for cars, trucks, and vans; not bicycles. Because of this you need to go beyond the call of duty and make yourself as visible as possible so you can avoid a bike accident. Don't settle for the least bright light and a dimly reflective helmet; wear bright colors, lots of reflective gear, and get the brightest lights you can.

4. Use Quieter Roads: While the roads of Los Angeles might seem busy at all hours of the day, you should structure your schedule so you can bike in the safest conditions possible. Not only should you plan to avoid rush hour, but you should also find a route that isn't crowded. The fewer vehicles there are on the road, the fewer obstacles you have to worry about.

5. Fix Your Bike: There's a popular saying that says "if it's not broken, don't fix it." On the flip side, it's equally important to realize that "if it is broken, you should fix it." In a busy city such as Los Angeles, the last thing you will want to deal with while cycling is a problem with your bike. Make sure you have good tread on your tires and inspect your bike often to ensure no damage goes unnoticed and unrepaired.

It might not always seem convenient to follow these five steps, but it will always help you stay safe and avoid potential bike accidents. By practicing defensive biking in Los Angeles you'll prevent yourself from getting in as many dangerous situations as other cyclists may face. While there are no guarantees on the roads of Los Angeles, these tips will surely benefit you in a very real way.
About the Author
John Bisnar is a partner at Personal Injury Law Firm Bisnar Chase. The Bisnar Chase law firm has dedicated their practice to victims of serious injury due to negligence and malpractice.

Visit the main website at http://www.Accidentinjuryattorneyscalifornia.com or call 888-265-0161
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