Road Hazards Like Potholes and Sewer Grates Can Mean Injury for an Unlucky Cyclist
The thin tires and lack of outer protection for cyclists make them highly susceptible to roadway accidents and injuries, not to mention that poorly maintained roads make it harder for the two-wheeled vehicles to maintain balance. Most cyclists will reach speeds up to 30 MPH while commuting through the city, which also contributes to a harder crash when they come across a road hazard. Los Angeles is the 10th most dangerous city in the U.S. for cyclists, so attorneys like Grey Law are very familiar with the hazards cyclists in this city face.
With only 1.1% of the Los Angeles working-age population commuting by bike, other citizens in the City of Stars may be ignorant of the dangers they pose to cyclists. Intersections and stop signs make up the bulk of car-bike collisions, often due to one party’s failure to yield. A personal injury lawyer Los Angeles can help you determine your damages and liability in your collision so that you can get compensation.
Cars are not the only threat to cyclists on their commute, as their smaller stature and openness to the elements make their commute more dangerous. Uneven streets that may not even phase a driver can seriously injure a cyclist if they hit a crack or dip at the wrong angle. For your safety, look out for the common road hazards for cyclists below.
- Potholes – Some cities have much more potholes than others. When a road is not smoothly paved, a bike can be thrown off balance, resulting in an injury to its rider. Swerving around potholes takes vigilance and quick reflexes, which cyclists don’t always have the luxury of using; when riding in high trafficked areas, other cars take up space the cyclist would use to navigate around potholes. It’s possible to learn how to hop over the potholes, which will keep you safer in the long run.
- Sewer Grates – Sewer grates are not dangerous to cars and pedestrians, but the narrow wheels of a bike can get lodged in the space between the grates. The sudden loss of momentum can throw the bicyclist from the bicycle into the bustling traffic or onto the pavement. Sewer grates are typically placed at an angle and in an area of the road that is less dangerous to cyclists, but accidents still happen. If a bicycle accident happens due to a sewer grate, the city of Los Angeles can be held liable for this, and you can consult a bike accident lawyer in Los Angeles about pursuing a personal injury case.
- Cobblestone and Brick Roads – Along with potholes, cobblestone streets and brick roads can throw a cyclist off balance. It’s best to let the bicycle move freely between the cracks instead of trying to guide it yourself. Luckily the streets of Los Angeles are typically not made of cobblestone or brick, but the abundance of potholes may feel like they are.
- Aggressive Dogs – As cyclists are more exposed to the elements than someone in a car, they are more at risk when they come across the path of an aggressive dog. Dog bites account for 850,000 hospital visits a year, and seeing a bike fly by may activate the canine’s natural predatory instinct. A cyclist can typically outrun the average dog, but not if they are taken by surprise. It’s helpful to carry an air horn or pepper spray to overwhelm the dog’s senses and make it back off. In the event you are pulled off your bike, you can use your bike as a weapon. Even just one bite can cause serious flesh wounds, so it’s important to reach out to a personal injury attorney to get compensation.
Many don’t realize the multitude of dangers that cyclists come across on a regular basis. Cars, potholes, dogs, and uneven streets can mean serious injury or even death to a cyclist. In a world of motor vehicles, cyclists are often overlooked when it comes to building and maintaining roads. If you’ve been injured in a cycling accident, it’s highly possible that the city of Los Angeles or another driver is liable for your injuries. Schedule a consultation so that we can start building your case.