Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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Alcohol contributes to more than one-third of fatal bike crashes

Cyclists in California have many risk factors that they need to remain aware of for their own safety. For example, Los Angeles is a busy city with many taxis and ride-sharing services, as well as thousands upon thousands of people who commute in their own vehicle for their daily job. Each of those people on the street represents a potential risk to you as a cyclist.

However, certain drivers and driving decisions drastically increase how much risk someone creates for others on the road. Alcohol is one of the most common contributing factors to major bicycle crashes. Knowing the risk can help you take steps to eliminate it and keep yourself safer on the streets.

Drinking and then biking is not a wise decision

Some people who want to go hit up a brewery with a few of their friends might think that it would be safer for them to travel to the brewery on their bicycle. That way, they don’t have to jump behind the wheel of a motor vehicle to get back home for the night. However, alcohol will impair your ability to safely bike just like it will impair your ability to safely drive.

California bans drunk or drugged biking just like it does driving. Not only could drinking and biking lead to a crash, but it could also lead to criminal charges and fines.

Drunk drivers are even less observant than other people in passenger vehicles

One of the biggest risk factors for cyclists is the way that people in larger vehicles ignore them. Drivers typically need to make a conscious effort to watch for cyclists in order to stay as safe as possible on the road.

Drunk drivers are more likely than their sober peers to struggle with remaining focused on the road around them and other people in traffic. Drunk drivers will also have longer reaction times when they do notice that they’ve swerved dangerously close to a cyclist.

These and other risk factors are why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that at least 37% of bicycle collisions involve alcohol. Watching for erratic driving by others and avoiding getting on your bike after drinking can reduce your risk of an alcohol-related crash.