As the weather warms up more and more people are taking their bicycles out of storage for the summer. As a bicycle accident lawyer in Miami, I recommend the following; before riding a bike that has been unused for more than a few months, have it thoroughly inspected, cleaned and maintained by a professional bicycle mechanic.
TUNE UP TIME
Improperly maintained bicycles or a bicycle with a defective component can cause a serious bike accident. Over the years we have represented a number of injured cyclists in claims against manufacturers, distributors and even the local bicycle shop.
This week, Cervelo, a Canadian frame maker and sponsor of the several top ranked professional cyclists, announced the recall of Aura Pro aero handlebars. The Aura pro is a custom bicycle handlebar that attaches to the 2013 Cervelo P-Series bicycle. It comes in black, gray or red with the brand name "Cervelo" imprinted on the frame. These bicycles are designed for maximum speed by experienced cyclists in time trials and triathlons.
According to the Government of Canada's Official Safety Recall Page, the bars were made in Hong Kong by 3T and distributed internationally through Cervelo's Toronto offices. To date, 623 bicycles have been recalled in the United States. If you own a Cervelo and are not sure if your bars have been recalled, I urge you to immediately stop riding your bicycle and contact 3T at 1-800-223-3207.
Since I am a Miami attorney who sues companies for products that hurt people, I am required to constantly research the CPSA's recall lawsuits. I found out about the Cervelo 3T recall on the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website. But I was unable to find any reference to the recall on Cervelo's homepage. It is understandable that a company in the business of selling bicycles may not want to alert potential consumers to a potentially dangerous defect. I am disappointed in Cervelo as it should be compelled to put this kind of information prominently on its websites homepage to alert and protect consumers.
STRAP IT ON
Most people understand the importance of wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. Studies show that bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of a head injury by as much as 85% during a fall or collision. Bicycle helmets are specifically designed to absorb the impact rather than your brain. The problem we frequently encounter is that people have sustained serious head injuries by wearing the wrong kind of helmet. Not all helmets are the same and each type of helmet is designed to protect heads from dangers that are particular to that sport. For instance, a skateboard helmet does not meet the same federal safety standards as a bicycle helmet.
We recommend that cyclist only use a helmet that meets the CPSC's helmet standards. Helmets that are marketed for mountain climbing, go karting, horseback riding, lacrosse and skiing do not have to meet the same standards as a CPSC approved bicycle helmet.
To protect your children from the substantial risks of injury and death present in a bicycle accident it is very important when selecting a helmet to not rely solely on a manufacturer's name especially when sold in a toy store. Rather, we recommend carefully inspecting the helmets inside lining and verify that it is in compliance with the CPSC and ASTM formerly known as the American Society for Testing Materials.
Helmet fit is as important as selecting the correct helmet. A helmet should be both comfortable and snug. Lose helmets can fall off during a crash or shift to the side actually causing more harm than protection. Consult with a professional at your local bike shop to ascertain if your helmet is properly fitted. For more information En Español.