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Need a last-minute gift for your cyclist or pedestrian friends and family?

Five gift ideas to keep your friends and loved ones safe on the road

Still looking for the perfect last-minute gift? Here are five holiday gift ideas perfect for those friends and family members whose preferred mode of transportation is not always a car!

Vespertine Haute Réflecture reflective clothing
Price: Varies

One of the best things about this gift is its versatility. Reflective clothing is useful for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, or anyone else who might not be clearly seen on a road in the dark of night. Vespertine offers a range of reflective tops, vests, jackets, dresses, accessories, belts, and even jewelry. Most of the reflective materials surpass the ANSI and EN 471 regulations, so wearers can be seen in a car’s headlights from up to 2,000 feet away. Even better, these clothes are made with eco-friendly fabrics, and they are all made in the USA.

Bike2Power hub-mounted USB charger
Price: $119

This handy gadget allows bicycle riders to charge their USB devices while they ride, including smart phones. It fits most existing bicycles and can be installed on the front or the rear wheel. It can also be switched from bike to bike.

Serfas Thunderbolt USB headlight
Price: $45

This USB-rechargeable light can be mounted almost anywhere on the front of a bicycle. It puts out up to 90 lumens, and it has run times ranging from 1.25 hours (high) to 7.5 hours (low flashing). It also comes in eight different colors.

TiGr® Bow-Locks™
Price: $124.99-$199.99

This bicycle lock is simple, light, and easy to store when not in use. It is also highly resistant to lock picks, bolt cutters, and sawing.

Stemrack
Price: $29

Stemrack can be attached quickly to a bicycle to securely hold just about any type of handheld device, including phones, iPods, and GPS devices. With the new hands-free law going into effect in Austin in January, this is a must-have for cyclists!

Bike Safety Tips for Riding in the Rain

Rainy day bicycle safety tips

Bike Safety Tips for Riding in the RainAustin is a great place to live, and many residents choose to take advantage of the ease of biking to many of the places that they might need to go. However, when it rains (as it has so much recently!), riding a bicycle can become much more hazardous, not to mention more uncomfortable for the rider!

Even so, there are many ways to make to make riding your bicycle in the rain a safer and much more pleasant experience. For instance:

• Light up that bike! If people can’t see you, then you stand a much greater chance of being hit. Rain and the resulting glare will reduce motorists’ vision, so be sure to put LED lights on your seatpost and handlebars. You might also consider an LED light that flashes red or a rechargeable lighting system.

• Remember to take additional safety measures when conditions are wet. Your tires will be more likely to slide out when you turn, and your braking distance will be shorter. Leather brake shoes might help reduce slippage and allow you to stop more quickly in the rain. Also watch out for painted lines on the road, which might be slicker than other parts of the pavement, and other hazards such as leaves, manholes, puddles, or any other danger that might be lurking in the road.

• Reduce your speed! It’s harder to avoid hazards in the rain, and it’s better to get to your destination a little later in one piece than to risk unnecessary injury to yourself or others.

• Use a heavier chain lube to help prevent rusting. There are some that are made especially for wet conditions.

• Be sure you have fenders over your front and rear tires. You can even cut strips from old water bottles and attach them to your fenders to make them longer!

• Consider buying a seat cover. It will help protect your bike, and it may increase your personal comfort as well!

• Buy a rain bike. If you’re going to be riding in the rain often, you may want to invest in a bike that you don’t mind exposing to more hazardous weather conditions. You may even have an older bike lying around that you can dedicate for rainy-day riding, thus saving your favorite bike from exposure to the elements.

• Choose appropriate clothing if you know in advance that you might be riding in the rain. You can wear a cycling cap under your helmet to help protect your head. Also be sure that you have a good cycling jacket. Being waterproof may not be enough-be sure the jacket also has some breathability. Also remember that normal raincoats may be too long to safely wear while riding. You can also cover your shoes to help keep the rain off your feet. They sell waterproof shoe covers, but you might be able to achieve the same result with a plastic bag and a little bit of crafting!

• Be aware that rain may reduce your range of vision, especially if you wear glasses that might get wet or foggy. You can help prevent this by purchasing a specialty helmet, or you could even try your hand at making your own visor out of an old soda bottle!

Following these tips can help you ride more safely and comfortably in inclement weather. However, if you are injured while riding your bicycle, contact Shefman Law.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Austin

Learn about motorcycle safety just in time for motorcycle awareness month

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month in the US, and here in Austin we’re as focused on the meaning behind this event as anywhere else. At Shefman Law, we’re constantly taking on the cause of developing safer roads for motorcyclists, so we’re incredibly invested in the work that Austin and the rest of Texas at large are doing to promote safer circumstances for bikers. We’d like to take a moment to look at the background of Motorcycle Safety Awareness month as well as the reasons why increased visibility is essential for all motorcyclists in the Austin area.

A Bit of Background

Motorcycle Safety Awareness began in response to a statistic most drivers aren’t aware of: May is one of the most dangerous months of the year for motorcycle riders. According to LookLearnLive.org, most motorcycle incidents in Texas occur in the month of May. Whether this is due to the changing weather or some other phenomenon, motorcycle activists began pushing for a nationally recognized safety month as far back as the late 90’s. In 2004, the U.S. Senate officially recognized this grass roots push and designated May Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. Since that time, many states, including Texas, officially proclaim Motorcycle Awareness Month once every year.

Why Motorcycle Awareness Month Matters

As Austin motorcycle accident attorneys, we come face to face daily with the reality of bikers’ situations on Texas roads. The fact of the matter is it can be a very dangerous place out there for people on motorcycles.  According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 494 Texans were killed on motorcycles in 2013. At Shefman Law, we find this number absolutely unacceptable, especially considering that a number of these deaths tend to be preventable. Motorcyclists are at a disadvantage of the size of their vehicle compared to others on the road, and it takes a community wide effort to look out for the safety of these individuals. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month will certainly not completely wipe away these numbers, but if we rally around its premise we may begin to make a dent in the horrific number of accidents occurring in and around Austin.

What Austin, Texas is Doing About Motorcycle Safety

As motorcycle personal injury lawyers, we pay close attention to the initiatives happening in our home state and town when it comes to motorcycle safety. For the month of May, Texas is pushing forward with two separate media campaigns focused on making our roads safer for bikers. One, titled “Share the Road,” is a broad program focused on general motorcycle awareness. The other campaign, “Look Twice,” is specifically engaged with getting drivers to proactively look for motorcyclists out there on the road. If you’re a resident of Austin, you may also have noticed a campaign aimed at getting more bikers to ride wearing their helmets. These posters were produced by the Texas Department of Transportation, and can be found hanging in various places throughout Texas. Also, you may have noticed that on May 8th, a large gathering of Austin riders rode through town carrying 24 big white flags. This event, put on with the help of Austin Region and CenTex, was another effort at raising the visibility of motorcyclists on the road. Throughout the month of May, be on the lookout for more great events happening in the area, and make sure to spread the word that motorcycle safety is an important concern for all Austinites.

At Shefman Law, we look out for the safety and well being of all Austin motorcyclists and bikers. Please take a moment to watch our video on Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month here. If you’ve been involved in an accident and have received injuries because of it, contact the lawyers at Shefman Law for a consultation today. You’ve got a bike? We’ve got your back.

New Technology That’s Making Motorcycles Safer

New technology for motorcycle safetyAt Shefman Law, we’re not just exceptional motorcycle accident lawyers, we’re riders just like you. Due to the way in which these two passions intersect, it probably won’t surprise you to find out that motorcycle safety is something we hold near and dear to our heart. Whether it’s practicing safe riding techniques on the road or representing the victim of an Austin motorcycle accident, everyone at our firm is committed to the safety of bikers. To celebrate this, we’ve put together a few emerging trends in motorcycle technology that promise to make riding an even safer practice. Hopefully with these added technologies, we’ll continue to be able to lower the number of motorcycle accidents and injuries that occur throughout our community.

Intelligent Active Motorcycle Suspension

Any experienced rider, whether you’re a motorcycle injury attorney or not, is aware of the problems that setting up your bike’s suspension can cause. There tends to be a tradeoff when making a suspension choice: in order to get a firm ride that’s suitable for cornering on smooth roads, you end up loosing roadholding on a bumpy surface. Making this choice can often result in a safety sacrifice in one or more areas. Lucky for us, the industry is currently finalizing an automated suspension system that recognizes how you’re riding a bike at a given and automatically adjusts the suspension to ensure the safest ride possible, which is great news to a motorcycle accident personal injury attorney.

Adaptive Headlight Technology

As Austin motorcycle accident lawyers, we’re well aware of the dangers posed by taking corners at nighttime. Due to the requirement that all headlights have to have their top half cut off by a suitable reflector to prevent blinding oncoming drivers, when a motorcycle rider leans into a curve the visible area tilts accordingly with the bike. This typically creates a scenario where a biker can’t see what’s in front of them as they turn, creating a scene just wanting for a crash. Luckily, BMW has just developed a headlight system that can tell when you’re leaning into a corner and in turn adjusts its aim accordingly. This technology is a major addition to safety protocols for bike’s, making it a breath of fresh air for anyone interested in the lives and health of motorcycle riders.

Anti-Lock Braking System

Although anti-lock braking systems have been around since at least the early 90’s, we’re finally getting to the point where they are becoming requirements on the road. As Austin motorcycle injury lawyers, we have to say that it is about time. By 2016, all bikes on the road in the European Union will require ABS systems, and we only hope the same type of legislation will eventually make its way to the U.S. An ABS prevents the wheels of a bike from locking during braking situations and adjusts the pressure of the brake fluid in order to keep traction and avoid fall downs. This leads to decreased stopping distance while also assisting in maintaining stability. As experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, we believe that any increase in motorcycle safety and functionality is a step in the right direction, so we encourage everyone to look into the potential benefits of procuring a bike with a developed ABS built in.

At Shefman Law, we do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve in a motorcycle accident. If you’ve suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact Austin’s Shefman Law today. You’ve got a bike? We’ve got your back.

Four Major Causes Of Motorcycle Accidents, And How to Avoid Them

Riders can take steps to avoid motorcycle accidentsAt Shefman Law, we’re not just motorcycle accident attorneys: we’re the premiere Austin motorcycle injury lawyers. We’ve worked with victims of motorcycle crashes for years, and it’s this experience that makes us effective at what we do. Furthermore, not only are we experienced motorcycle accident trial attorneys, we’re also riders ourselves.

Our history dealing with motorcycle accidents has led us to a deep understanding of the common types of crashes and the causes behind them. We’ve put together a list of four of the most frequent reasons why an accident occurs on the road, as well as a few general tips on how to avoid some of these occurrences. Read on to know what you should try to avoid each and every time you take your bike out on the road.

1. Car Makes A Left Turn

As Austin motorcycle accident attorneys, this is easily the most common incident we see motorcyclists finding themselves in. The scene typically unfolds like this: a car fails to notice a rider, or misjudges her or his speed, and makes a left in front of the rider at an intersection. This type of collision constitutes nearly 42% of all accidents involving a motorcycle and a car, making it a high priority on the list of situations to avoid for all riders. Most of the time a vehicle that strikes another motorist while making a left-hand turn will be found responsible for the accident, though this doesn’t mean diligence is not required from a biker’s perspective. Always be aware of the dangers at hand when approaching a four way stop, and keep an eye on whether drivers are noticing your presence. If all else fails, make sure to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately following a crash.

2. Road Hazards

Due to the relative instability and thin tires of most motorcycles, road hazards present a greater danger to bikers than they do for most other motor vehicles. Whether it’s potholes, sewer grates, or poorly laid gravel, Austin motorcyclists can be faced with treacherous conditions when out on the road. When a motorcycle accident or injury is caused by a road hazard, there can often be responsible parties, be it the state, county, city, or other agency that maintains the road. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to compensation, so you should always contact a motorcycle injury lawyer after an incident. Like many situations on the road, your best bet is to take unknown roads slowly and safely, while attempting to steer clear of any blocked off street or known hazard areas.

3. Car Changes Lanes Into You

Sadly, most motorcyclists will be familiar with this scenario: you’re out, enjoying a weekend ride, when suddenly a car begins to change lanes into the space you’re occupying without checking for your presence. One thing we’ve noticed in our years of experience as Austin motorcycle accident attorneys is that many drivers simply fail to take the time to look out for the bikers sharing the lanes with them. Although cars are required to check their blind spots when changing lanes, it’s still essential to spend as little time as possible outside of the view of other motorists. Also, taking extra caution when riding in situations where lane changes are more likely to occur (i.e. when highway traffic is slowing, or lanes are coming to an end) in order to avoid a dangerous situation. Even though cars are required to safely share the lanes with motorcyclists, riders have to remain ever vigilant to the dangers of careless drivers.

4. Lane Splitting

Lane Splitting occurs when a motorcycle drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars. Even in a state like California, which permits “safe and prudent” lane splitting, it’s always a practice to avoid. The legality of lane splitting in many states is quite often debatable, and as experienced Austin motorcycle accident and injury attorneys, we encourage every rider to stay away from the often disastrous practice. Safely sharing the road is tough enough for bikers without the added burden of a legally dubious and highly dangerous act such as lane splitting. As a motorcyclist, do your part to remain safe, and avoid lane splitting.

At Shefman Law, we not only represent motorcycle riders, we are motorcycle riders. If you’re in need of a tough and effective motorcycle accident attorney, call today for a consultation. Remember, we only take a fee if you receive compensation.

 

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