More and more Californians are choosing to walk or bicycle as a way to get to school, work and other activities. That’s why it’s important to understand the rules that apply to you as a cyclist.
Although you might not think of it this way, a bicycle is technically a vehicle. That means that many of the laws that apply to cars and trucks apply to your bicycle as well. Brushing up on local and state laws before heading out is key to avoiding errors that might put your life at risk.
What to know about riding a bike around vehicles
The first thing to recognize is that your bicycle has a much smaller profile than other vehicles on the road. As a result, it may be more difficult to see. It’s helpful if you attach a bell or horn, use reflectors, and wear bright colors to stand out more to drivers around you.
Bicyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes if they’re traveling at the same speed, or faster, than traffic, but if one is available, it’s a good idea to use it. If you’re traveling slower than traffic, move into the bike lane in accordance with California law.
Most cycling deaths happen in the evening
The majority of cyclist deaths occur between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., no matter which season it is. If you’re planning to ride during that time, be extra vigilant in checking for traffic. Make sure to have a clear path ahead of you before turning or crossing an intersection.
Your safety is important. If you are involved in a crash because a driver didn’t see you or yield when you had the right of way, you could receive compensation.