Bicycle Accident Attorneys in San Diego

Cycling is an immensely popular activity, enjoyed by many, here in sunny Southern California. Whether for recreation, transportation or competition, more bicyclists are on the road each year and cities within San Diego County continue to make infrastructure improvements to accommodate the added bike traffic. With e-bikes now added to the mix, bicycles are seemingly everywhere. While biking produces undeniable health and environmental benefits, the downside to this equation is an increase in bike accidents.

Injured in an accident?
Contact the personal injury lawyers at COAST LAW GROUP for your free consultation.

Laws Cyclists Should Know:

  1. Bicyclists Must Follow The Vehicle Code
    As a general rule, adult bicyclists have the same duties and responsibilities as vehicle drivers. Thus stop at stop signs and red lights just like all other vehicles (CVC 21200).
  1. Ride With Traffic
    Ride in the same direction as traffic. If traveling in the opposite direction of a one- way street, walk your bicycle on the sidewalk (CVC 21650).
  1. Ride On The Right Side Of The Road
    Bicyclists may ride in the traffic lanes of a roadway so long as they are not impeding traffic flow. Slower moving bicycles must ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

    Several important exceptions to the rule are included in the Vehicle Code which allow you to “take the lane.”  These exceptions are: (1) overtaking and passing another bicyclist, (2) preparing to take a left turn, and (3) when “reasonably necessary to avoid conditions . . . that make it unsafe to continue to ride along the right-hand curb or edge,” such as pedestrians walking in the roadway (CVC 21202). Several cities in San Diego County, including Encinitas, have installed “sharrow” markers on roadways indicating that it is legal for bikes to use traffic lanes.

  1. Use Bike Lanes
    If you are riding on a roadway with a bike lane and moving slower than traffic, you must use the bike lane. You may exit the bike lane after you determine it reasonably safe to do so and give the appropriate a signal. Specific examples of when you can leave a bike lane listed in the Vehicle Code include; making a left turn, passing another bicyclist, avoiding a pedestrian or car in the bike lane, and approaching a place where a right turn is authorized (CVC 21208).
  1. Yield To Pedestrians
    Pedestrians should always use marked crosswalks when crossing a roadway. But even if they do not, bicyclists must exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian on a roadway (CVC 21954).
  1. Do Not Occupy Crosswalks
    Crosswalks are for pedestrians, not cars or bicycles (CVC 21455).
  1. Ride With Lights And Reflectors At Night
    When riding at night, you or your bike must be equipped with a white light that is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front of the bike. The bike must also have:
    (1) a red reflector or a solid or flashing red light with a built-in reflector on the rear that is visible from a distance of 500 feet
    (2) a white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet; and
    (3) a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle, unless your bike has front and rear reflector tires (CVC 21201(d)).
  1. Under 18, Wear A Helmet
    Bicyclists under 18 must wear an approved helmet when riding (CVC 21212).
  1. One Ear Not Covered
    Bicyclists may not wear earplugs in both ears or a headset covering both ears (CVC 27400).
  1. No Tall Bikes On Roadways
    The bike must be of size that the bicyclist can stop, support it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground, and start in a safe manner (CVC 21201(c)).
  1. Operable Brakes
    Bicycles must be equipped with a brake that allows riders to make a one braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement CVC 21201(a).

Bicyclists are Entitled to a Safety Buffer

The California Three Feet for Safety Act (CVC 21670) requires that:

a) Motorists provide a three feet buffer between their vehicle and bicycles when passing; and

b) A driver who is unable to provide the minimum three-foot buffer due to traffic or roadway conditions (1) slow to a reasonable and prudent speed when passing and (2) only pass when doing so would not endanger the safety of the bicyclist.

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Please call Coast Law Group at (760) 942-8505 to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.