Using your bicycle to get around the city can be an eco-friendly way to get some exercise, save on gas or train for a race. However, city riding can be scary for those who are new to it.
And, it can also present road hazards that could catch any cyclist by surprise. Here are a few of the more common ones to watch out for.
1. Car doors
You may be used to watching for opening car doors while driving in the city. But, while riding, you’ll soon find that it happens more often. That’s because if drivers look to see if something is coming before opening their car door into the road, they’ll generally be looking for a vehicle, rather than cyclists.
Because of the size and shape of a bicycle, it can be more difficult for drivers to recognize it at all, determine how close it is or judge how fast the cyclist is riding.
What’s more, more drivers may not even bother to look if anyone is coming if they’re parked next to a bike lane, rather than the roadway.
2. Cyclists, scooters, pedestrians
Pedestrians that walk in the bike lanes and beginners who rent bicycles and electric scooters may also present a threat. If these pedestrians are not aware of their surroundings or bike and scooters users are unfamiliar with the operation of their vehicle, it may be difficult to anticipate their actions.
In one recent case, a woman sued the electric scooter company, Lime, for directing her to ride the scooter on the roadway, instead of the sidewalk. This was an unlawful practice in the state of Florida and may have contributed to the accident she got into while using the scooter.
The streets of Los Angeles certainly aren’t clean enough to eat off of. However, the remnants of food, wrappers and other litter are bountiful.
While riding a bicycle, some litter may be large enough to block the path ahead, causing cyclists to collide into it, lay on the breaks or swerve out of the way. All of these actions could easily lead to an accident with another driver or pedestrian.
4. Unfamiliar drivers
Because cities are so condensed, drivers must be prepared to be in the correct lane for an upcoming turn, anticipate one-ways and navigate busy or strange intersections. Those who are new to city driving or unfamiliar with the area may have more trouble following directions in this environment.
If these drivers become distracted or confused, the could forget to look for bicyclists while making turns and stops.
After an accident
If you are involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, know who to call for help recovering compensation. Cohen Law Partners are dedicated to helping injured bicyclists recover and making L.A. roads safer for all cyclists.