Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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Should you upgrade to illuminated bike turn signals?

There are rules and laws on the books in California intended to make it safer for bicyclists to share the road with motor vehicles. There are responsibilities for both cyclists and drivers, but people in enclosed vehicles all too often fail to do their part or really learn the rules for safely sharing the roads with bikes.

Just like with enclosed motor vehicles, cyclists need to indicate their intent to turn to alert other people nearby and prevent a potential collision. Standard practices involve holding up the left arm either horizontally for a left turn or at a 90-degree upward angle for a right turn.

Unfortunately, drivers both get confused by the signals and fail to notice them, which is one reason why investing in LED turn signals for your bike could be a smart move. Like other lights on your bike, they help draw attention, meaning your cycling trip could be safer.

Basic LED signals can cost less than $20

Lights and motion are good ways to attract the attention of other people near you on the road. Although moving your arm to indicate a turn should also draw attention, it may not do so as successfully as an LED turn signal.

You can buy basic systems for less than $20 online. There are also jackets that you can wear that have LED turn signals built into the back of the jacket for those who have too many bikes to make installing individual LED turn signals cost-effective.

Not only will light-up turn signals make it easier for you to communicate with other people on the road, but they will also help keep you safe by keeping both of your hands on the handlebars right before a turn.