Max Draitser - Southern California Bicycle Attorneys

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When do cyclists have the right of way?

When you ride a bicycle, your size and maneuverability are obviously very different from that of a motor vehicle. This may lead you to wonder if there are different laws defining your right of way as a cyclist.

Moving bicycles often share space with motorists or pedestrians. To avoid a collision that will harm yourself or others, it is extremely important to know when you should yield the right of way to someone else.

Right of way laws for bicycles

Bicycles on the road follow the same rules as vehicles, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles even states that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. This means that cyclists must yield right of way to pedestrians and oncoming traffic, follow the regular flow of traffic and obey road signage.

How to avoid a right of way accident

Bicycles have a smaller profile on the road compared to motor vehicles, so it is important for riders to increase their visibility to minimize the odds of an accident. Just like motorists, cyclists must their turns and should use clear hand signals that can be easily seen by nearby drivers. Wearing bright or reflective gear will also make it easier for motorists to see you. Drivers who can quickly spot a bicycle on the road will be more likely to yield the right of way when required to do so.

Bicyclists who are fully educated on relevant traffic rules can reduce their chances of causing a right of way accident. However, motorists who are unaware of a bicycle’s rights on the road might still cause a harmful collision. A personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation if you suffer damages while riding your bicycle on the road.