Did you know that roadway accidents claim nearly 1,000 cyclists per year, and more than 130,000 receive injuries in these incidents? In fact, cyclist deaths comprise nearly 2% of all deaths from car accidents.
Because motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death amongst cyclists, it is important that you understand bicycle safety tips and laws to keep yourself and others safe.
Motor vehicle laws
As a cyclist, you need to follow all the laws that apply to motor vehicles. You should obey traffic signs and signals, yield to pedestrians, turn from the appropriate lane and signal prior to your turn. You also need to ride with traffic in single file in the right-hand lane unless you plan to turn left.
You probably assumed that you need working brakes, but did you know that your handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders? In addition, your bike should have reflectors and white lights if you plan to ride at night. In addition, unless your bike manufacturer designed it without a seat, you need one.
Where to ride
Ride as far to the right as you can get on the road. However, during slow traffic, you can move further into a lane. Use bike lanes whenever possible. If your bike is electric, avoid areas where they are not allowed. Riding on sidewalks varies by jurisdiction, but you cannot ride on freeways or toll bridges.
Other operational laws
The law requires that children under 18 wear a helmet. Although you can hold your cell phone in your hand, you cannot plug both ears with earplugs or headphones. You also cannot ride under the influence.
To avoid moving violation tickets while you ride your bike, learn about and follow all of California’s bicycle laws.