There is already a large population of California bicyclists on the roads, but come spring and summer, the bicycle lanes will become busier. That means that there is more room for disaster and that drivers as well as bicyclists have to be vigilant about avoiding traffic accidents.

The Auto Club of Southern California has some basic advice about how to make the coming seasons safer by preventing bike accidents. This blog post, however, will focus on the safety of the bicyclists since they so often sustain the most serious injuries and are often wrongly blamed for accidents.

Signals aren’t just recommended:

Failing to signal a turn might seem innocent but can put a bicyclist’s life in danger. When they are riding in the bike lane and continue biking straight, an unsignaled turn can place them right in harm’s way. Motorists must signal their turns. It is the law. It is a safety must.

Doors are dangerous:

Bicyclists often get injured not when a moving car crashes into them, but when they crash into the door of a parked vehicle. When a motorist parks his car, he must check around him for an oncoming biker before opening his car door. Crashing into a door might not sound as serious as a car crash, but the impact can seriously injure a bicyclist. He can sustain broken bones, a head injury and more.

These are just a couple of the safety reminders that all motorists must keep in mind and implement on the roads of California. Neglecting to follow these safe driving behaviors and any other traffic laws easily leads to bicycle crash victims who need and deserve compensation to support them in their recovery and beyond.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Auto Club offers rules of the road for harmony between bikes, cars,” Ronald D. White, April 24, 2013