2020 Los Angeles Bicycle Safety Guide | Power Legal Group
A Proven Track Record of Success
Whether through settlement or verdict, we dedicate ourselves to winning maximum compensation for our clients' pain and suffering.
Free Consultation
  • Home
  • 2020 Los Angeles Bicycle Safety Guide

2020 Los Angeles Bicycle Safety Guide

Biking in Los Angeles is becoming more popular because of the increasing traffic and climate change awareness.  It is important to know the rules and be safe on the road.  Los Angeles bicycle attorney, Power Legal Group, has go-to tips for biking in Los Angeles.

Here is a bicycle safety guide for Los Angeles.

What Are the Basics of Riding a Bicycle in LA?

You Need to Ride on the Street

You really need to ride on the street when riding a bicycle in Los Angeles.  You do not need to ride on the sidewalk.  In fact, in a busy city like Los Angeles, it is probably more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk because of how many pedestrians there are.  When you ride your bicycle on the streets, you have the same rights and have to do the same things that people in motor vehicles do.  Bicycles are supposed to ride on the streets, however, there are some exceptions.  You will not be able to ride on most freeways and some bridges may have mandates not allowing you to ride your bike on them.

Use the Right Lanes

There are many situations in Los Angeles where the lanes are too small and it can be dangerous where you ride.  When this happens, it is crucial that the bicycle rider rides as near to the center lane as possible.  In fact, there is a law in place that explains how bicyclists need to ride in the furthest right lanes as possible.  The reason for this is that the right lanes are where vehicles move the slowest, and a bicycle is so much slower compared to a motor vehicle.  It ensures the safety of the bicyclist as well as the other drivers on the road. Driving in Los Angeles is tough and safety is the most important thing.  The exceptions to not riding in the right lanes would be if you are passing a vehicle, making a left turn, or avoiding an accident. 

What About the Signs?

Because you are riding on the street, you are basically the same as a motor vehicle when you are on a bicycle in Los Angeles.  You have to obey all the signs that you would if you were driving in a car.  This includes simple things like stopping at stop signs and stopping at red lights.  Yielding to other cars is also a big part of riding a bicycle on the street.  Because bicycles are slower than every other vehicle on the road, you need to yield as much as possible. 

Free Case Evaluation

Footer
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Safety Tips

It is important to always have your head on a swivel when riding a bicycle in Los Angeles because of how many vehicles are always on the road with LA being known for traffic.  It seems like it would be common sense, but it is important to remember that you need to ride on the right side of the road with the traffic.  As a bicyclist, riding on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic is the safest thing to do.  There are a lot of parked cars throughout the busy city of Los Angeles.  It is a general rule of thumb that you should ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars in case of people opening their doors.

Another thing to consider is that if you think that riding in the far right lanes is still too dangerous, you are technically permitted to ride on the shoulder.  You are not required to, but it is an option to consider given the circumstances in Los Angeles.  One of the most important things to remember when riding a bicycle on the street is that you need to use hand signals when you turn, change lanes, and stop.  You also need to look when you signal to make sure you have the space to turn.

One of the best safety tips for a bicyclist in Los Angeles is to use the bike lane when it is available.  Again, you are going so much slower than the normal flow of traffic.  If you can avoid being in that traffic, it is important to do so.  Although you are supposed to always use the bike lane, it is as equally important to leave it when you need to.  You may need to leave the bike lane to pass someone else going to slow, to shift lanes to make a left turn, or to avoid objects that have flown into the bike lane.  Again, it is crucial that you signal when you leave the bike lane and make sure the lanes are clear for you to shift.

When it comes to riding a bicycle in Los Angeles on sidewalks, it is a bit unclear if you can or cannot ride on them.  Every city has its own laws regarding their bicycles on sidewalks and it is important to seek out information on if your city allows it or not.  

What About Biking in the Rain?

While Los Angeles hardly ever rains, it is important to still know what to do if you get caught in rain while riding a bicycle.  For many people, biking is their only mode of transportation, making this information extremely crucial.  The tips and tricks for riding in the rain are not that hard to comprehend, you just need to be prepared.  

Don’t Ride in Puddles

It can be very hard to identify puddles from afar.  If you see puddles of water on the road, there is no telling what could be underneath those puddles.  It is important to avoid the puddles if you can, but if you cannot, do not freak out if you are about to ride into one.  Doing any sudden motion on a bike with motor vehicles on the road can result in horrible accidents.  Try to identify puddles when you are riding and avoid them if possible.

Wear Proper Clothing

Even though it hardly rains in Los Angeles, you should have rainwear available to you whenever you may need it, especially if riding a bicycle is your main mode of transportation.  Rain jackets and rain pants will do wonders in helping you stay dry when it rains while you are riding a bicycle in Los Angeles.  Another thing to consider is if you want to wear a hood when you are riding around town.  While wearing a hood will keep your head dry, it is more important to hear what is going around you on the road.  It is your responsibility to evaluate if wearing a hood will impair your hearing or not.  It can also be of relevance to invest in a water-resistant bag for the items that you are bringing.  A lot of people ride a bike to work, and it can be crucial to keep the things in your bag dry.  

What About Braking?

Braking can be way different in the rain than it is when completely dry.  It is going to take way longer to come to a stop, so you need to budget more time and space for that.  You are not going to be the only one taking longer to stop as motor vehicles will have to do the same thing.  It is important to remember that when coming to your own stops while biking in the rain.  

Be Noticeable

Rain often means no sunshine and it can be very dark.  This is extremely relevant in Los Angeles with all of the smog taking up the air.  Most bikes already have reflectors on them, and if yours does not have them, it is important to put them on as soon as possible.  When it rains, wearing brighter colored rainwear is an excellent way to be seen and make sure that you are noticed.  A bicycle hit and run is an awful thing, and being more noticeable is a great way to prevent that. 

Know Where To Go

Los Angeles can be a complicated city to navigate, especially if you are riding a bicycle around the city.  Plan your route accordingly before you leave.  You do not want to have to be weaving in and out of lanes especially when it is raining.  There are many apps like Waze that can help you determine which route to take for where you need to go.

Put More Grip on the Bike

One of the great things about bicycles is that they are extremely easy to customize and change parts in and out.  It is a good idea to get wider tires for more grip on the road and more balance on the bike.  You can also put more grip on your handlebars instead of what is already there.  This is a good idea because it can prevent your hands from slipping off your handlebars because of the rain.  

Locking Your Bike

It is important to lock your bike whenever you park it anywhere.  If there is a bike rack there, use it.  If there is not, there are many other places that you can lock your bike to make sure it is not stolen.  

How Do You Lock Your Bike? 

The first thing to do is to find something that is rooted firmly in the ground to lock your bike on.  A good way to make sure that the poles are sturdy is to shake them around and see if you can lift them off the ground yourself.  If you cannot, then you are good to go.  Wheel taking is becoming more popular since people are getting smarter about locking their bikes.  If you can, be sure to lock up one of your wheels.  If you are worried about your wheel getting taken off your bike while you are away, you can always take the wheel with you.  Locks are not meant to prevent extreme theft.  They are simply meant to make it very difficult for the thief and buy the owner time.  Be sure to invest in a really good lock with a thick chain.

Preventing Bike Theft

One of the easiest things to help prevent your bike from being stolen is to mark your bike up with your name.  Make it known that the bike is your bike.  It will be harder for a thief to sell as they will likely need to get your name off of it.  They might see that it is all marked up and decide not to steal it.  Another thing you need to do is make sure that you have the serial number for your bike and the documentation that goes along with it.  If you have customized your bicycle in any sort of way, make sure you have details of the modifications that you have made so you can identify it better. 

Contact Us Now!

Hero Form
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Where Should You Lock Your Bike?

It is important to ask around your community where good places to lock your bike are in the area.  It can be as easy as going into your local bike shop and asking people that work there.  They can likely guide you to where and where not to lock up.  It would also be a good idea not to lock your bike where people are just sitting around often.  They might tell thieves or even attempt to take the bicycle themselves.  When you are locking up your bike in Los Angeles, you can lock it up where many people are walking near bigger buildings that are bound to have surveillance cameras.  In the event that your bike is stolen, you can obtain footage from those buildings’ security cameras to see who may have taken it.      

In Summary

Riding a bicycle around Los Angeles is a great way to get around without having to deal with the constant stress of traffic.  However, there are many things to consider when opting to bike around the city.  It is important to know all the do’s and don’ts before you start biking around Los Angeles.  Bicycle accidents occur often and this will help to make sure that you are not the victim of a bicycle hit and run.  Reading a bicycle safety guide for Los Angeles will help to educate and prepare you for what you will be doing.  Bicycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles, Power Legal Group can help if you have been injured while on your bicycle.