Los Angeles has a pervasive car culture, but many residents rely on bicycles to get from point A to point B. If you often cycle in the city, you should understand how traffic laws apply to your bicycle.
Review the city and state bike guidelines that pertain to Los Angeles cyclists.
Follow the rules of the road
Traffic laws for cars also apply to cyclists. While you may not ride your bike on the sidewalk in California, you can walk it on the sidewalk if you do not feel safe on the roadway. When riding on the street, you must travel in the same direction as car traffic and stay as far to the right as possible. When the lane is too narrow to safely share, state law gives bikers the right of way. You must use a bike lane wherever possible. Always stop at crosswalks to let pedestrians pass.
Upgrade your bicycle
Before taking to the street, make sure that your bike has at least one brake that works on clean, dry pavement. Your shoulders must be lower than the handlebars, and you must be able to support and safely restart the bike with just one foot on the ground. State law requires the use of a white headlight at night as well as yellow pedal reflectors and/or red rear reflectors that are visible from the side. Your bike must also have a permanent seat.
Avoid dangers and distractions
Cyclists may not obstruct their hearing by wearing earphones in both ears, which can prevent them from hearing other vehicles, including first response vehicles. Riding a bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also illegal. Although state law allows bikers to use a handheld cell phone, doing so is not recommended.
When a car hits a bicycle, serious injury can result. When the driver is at fault in this type of accident, you may be able to receive legal compensation for your injuries.