December 27, 2011
Accident Report Cards for Cyclists

A little over a month ago, I was out riding my bike, listening to Jesse, Jordan, Go! one of my favorite podcasts when I heard them get to their "jumbotron" segment of the show and started talking about Josh Zisson, an attorney out in Boston that made a card for cyclists to carry with them. When I got home, I looked it up on the forums. I was impressed.

But I live in California and we have different laws here. So I decided to take a little action. I wrote Josh an email and asked if he would be willing to come up with one for California.

After a bit of discussion, we came up with a plan. He'd get the research and design done and I'd cover the printing. I want to hand them out to local cyclists and make sure people are prepared for both accidents and talking with police officers.

Soon enough, boxes of cards showed up at my house.

Here is the front and back of the cards.

Inside is a place for you to write down info in case of an accident. If you do have an accident, it's likely you'll be a bit fuzzy and distracted, so the card will help make sure you get the details down.

On the back is a visualization of the rights and requirements for California cyclists and the specific vehicle codes that apply.

Called out are the following rights/responsibilities:

  • You can ride side by side with another cyclist in a lane.
  • The motorist is as fault if they open the door and you crash into it.
  • You cannot ride drunk or stoned. You can get a DUI on your bike.
  • You cannot have headphones covering both ears, but you can ride with with one earpiece in.
  • You must signal.
  • Cars must yield to you and cannot turn in front of you.

Josh included contact information inside the cards as well. It's always good to have the number of an attorney with you. Lawyers, guns, and money will get you out of pretty much any situation.

I've printed these up for the benefit of the community and aren't trying to make money off of this. The better informed cyclists we have in California, the better for everyone.

I'm going to be handing them out on rides, at club meetings, and at local bike shops. Drop me a line if you want some.

There is also a new site,, that promises to be of continuing help to Los Angeles cyclists.

One last thing to remember is to put a pen or pencil in your bike bag. I chose a super cool bullet space pen, but a short pencil would work too.

Josh is looking to work with other cyclists and attorneys that want to help their communities as well. You can contact him at

Posted by michael at December 27, 2011 03:24 PM