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Tag Archives: BikeLA

How to Avoid the Most Common Cycling Accidents

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Road accidentAs the cost of gasoline and the awareness about the damage of fossil fuels both increase, more and more people are deciding to use alternative modes of transportation. Given that Los Angeles benefits from bicycle-friendly weather all year long, bicycling is a common and a viable choice for UCLA students, staff and faculty.

However, many cyclists have to share the road with cars where there is no practical access to bike paths or protected lanes. This means potentially dangerous encounters with motor vehicles.

To avoid common cycling accidents, every vehicle operator should read about their state's official DMV handbook, whether they are on four or two wheels. Although cyclists do have to understand and comply with the same rules of the road as cars, they also have unique challenges. Being aware of and knowing how to avoid the three most common cycling accidents may save your life.

Right Cross Accidents

Right cross accidents occur when a cyclist, who has right of way, is struck Dangerous city traffic situationby a car exiting a side street, driveway or parking lot and attempting to turn right or left. This may also happen when a driver pulls out far enough to block the cyclist's path. This is usually caused by a driver failing to notice the cyclist coming from their left.

As a vehicle, a bicycle has full right of way when it is going straight along the side of a road. The driver, in this case, is failing to provide this right of way.

Avoiding this type of accident requires making yourself more visible to drivers. Adding a headlight to your bike or helmet and turning it on during the day is one effective measure. Wear bright colors (orange is the most noticeable color), and don't hesitate to wave, yell, use your bell, and make eye contact with drivers. Riding further to the left of the road, when possible, may also help prevent this accident.

Right Hook Accidents

Right hook accidents occur when a cyclist, riding to the right side of a car, is struck by the car attempting to turn right. In other words, the cyclist, going straight through an intersection, is hit by a car turning right at the same intersection. This can also happen when a driver deliberately overtakes a cyclist through an intersection, and then makes a right turn, wrongly assuming that they have driven a safe distance away from the bicycle.

You can avoid this type of accident by driving further left from the curb, which makes you more visible and more memorable to drivers. It can also give you headway for avoiding a collision. Pay attention to the turn signals of surrounding vehicles, and stay back if necessary.

Door Collisions

Door collisions—also called "the Door Prize"—happen when the driver of a parked car opens their door in the path of a cyclist. The cyclist, who didn't have enough notice to swerve or stop safely, collides with the open door. Door_zone_openThis is an error on the driver's part, not the cyclist, since cyclists have the same rights as cars. A parked car door opening in the way of another car would also be the parked driver's fault.

Cyclists can avoid this common accident by riding a safe distance away from parked cars. You should also pay attention to potential drivers sitting in parked cars; if you see someone there, you can swerve to the left to avoid the door potentially opening in your path.

In general, bicycle accidents happen because cyclists are smaller, and therefore less noticeable, than motor vehicles. Having a headlight turned on even during the day and wearing bright clothing are effective passive measures to increase your visibility to drivers.

 

 

Bike Essentials 101

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Paige Colton commutes to UCLA by bike from Santa Monica near 26th Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Paige, who is working toward her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, knows all about the benefits of bicycling.

"I love the sense of freedom biking gives me," she says. "I can move way faster than a car stuck in traffic, feel the wind in my hair, and squeeze some exercise into a busy day!"

In honor of Bike Week, she has provided us with a snapshot of her biking essentials. Take a look below:

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Items pictured: water bottle, reflective windbreaker, helmet, coffee mug, front and back lights, keys, sunglasses, U-lock, a notebook, pens, cell phone, backpack, bike shorts and bus fare.

 

BruinBikeSmart Wins SCAG Sustainability Award!

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bruinbikesmart_blogThe UCLA BruinBikeSmart program has won the 2017 Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Sustainability Award for active transportation. This award is the region's highest honor for projects that promote and improve mobility, livability, prosperity, and sustainability in Southern California.

UCLA BruinBikeSmart is a safety and education program that allows cyclists who receive a moving violation to have their citation dismissed by completing an online interactive bike safety course and paying an administrative course fee. This program is the first of its kind for LA County, and developing it required an extensive amount of coordination between Transportation, UCPD, and the LA County Superior Court.

A total of seven planning projects were selected this year, and will be honored at an awards luncheon on Thursday, May 4. Other recipients include the cities of Long Beach, Lynwood and San Bernardino, the Imperial County Transportation Commission, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Transportation Corridor Agencies.

PHOTOS: Bike (Re)cycling Day Wrap-Up

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blog-headerBike (Re)cycling Day was yesterday, and it was such a success! About 150 people attended this year's event, and we gave away about 115 free used bicycles!

Thank you to everyone who helped out or showed up. If you didn't get a chance to grab a free bike this year, look out for next year's even in the fall.

Check out a few photos from yesterday's event below and click here to view more.

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How to Be Even More Sustainable While Biking at UCLA

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bike7During its entire lifetime on the road, one single car outputs 1.3 billion cubic yards of polluted air. Just one car is also responsible for an additional 40 pounds of worn brake debris, tire particles and worn road surfaces, according to experts from the Bike to Work Day initiative. From the plastic in the seats to the paint on the exterior, cars are major economical wastes. While hybrid cars are substantially more sustainable than their traditional four-wheeled counterparts, bikes still reign supreme as one of the most eco-friendly methods of transportation. Here’s how you can take your bike riding to the next, sustainable level while getting around UCLA.

Eco-Friendly Bike Helmets

Since you’ve already made one good-for-the-Earth choice, why not make another? Add a lineup of eco-friendly gear to your bike accessory arsenal to take another step in the right direction. There are nearly 1,000 fatal bike-related crashes each year, making helmets an important biking accessory. Whether you’re biking around campus or to and from your job, a helmet is a must.

But all helmets are not created equal and some are bad for the environment. Not Thousand’s new eco-friendly, techy helmet though. Thousand’s helmets are made in ethically minded factories from sustainable products and feature straps made of vegan leather and a magnetic closure. The helmet makers even exceeded the existing safety requirements.

Pedal-Powered Device Chargers

The innovative minds at SIVA have created a pedal-powered device charger that keep new smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 charged wherever, whenever. The charger works with devices including iPhones, Android phones, GPS devices and GoPros. When you’re ready for a charge, insert the USB and you’re good to go to produce clean energy. Although it’s new, the charger has already received praise from TechCrunch, CNN and The Wall Street Journal.

Bike Rentals at UCLA

It’s no secret that UCLA is a bicycle-friendly community. In fact, according to data reported by UCLA, more than 3,000 students commute to campus via bike. However, not everyone takes a sustainable commute. So, the university has created a series of improvements that make the campus even more bike friendly.

The addition of bike lanes, bike boxes and campus bike rental shops has made cycling around UCLA more approachable for those who aren’t already getting around on two wheels. The UCLA Bike Library offers students an inexpensive bike rental for a full quarter. The shop even gives employees a two-week free rental.

Earth-Minded Bike Storage

UCLA has over 3,000 bike racks on campus that are free for students and faculty to use. This encourages the community’s riders to use their bikes instead of their cars when they commute to and from the university. Unlike parking garages or lots, bike storage has a low economical impact.

To keep your bike secure, use an eco-friendly bike lock. Ellipse is just one of the many eco-friendly bike lock options available today. The solar-powered bike lock does not require a key and instead is operated via a smartphone app. You can even get alerts delivered to your smartphone if the lock or your bike is tampered with while you’re in class or behind your desk.