Bicycle Laws in California 2021

-Posted On August 4, 2021 In Bicycle Accident-

California enforces a series of important laws that bicyclists must follow. These rules are designed to protect road safety, prevent serious accidents, and regulate the flow of traffic. If you are riding a bicycle on California roads, it is important to be aware of and follow these regulations carefully.

California’s Helmet Law

Helmets help protect cyclists from severe injury and death during a collision, reducing the risk of serious brain damage. Under California law, all cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet while operating a bicycle. If a cyclist is over the age of 18, he or she does not need to wear a helmet, but it is recommended to wear one for safety purposes.

Where to Ride a Bicycle in California

Cyclists have the right to ride their bicycles on city streets, bicycle lanes and bike paths, and sometimes freeways or expressways. However, there are multiple rules and regulations governing cyclist traffic on California roads.

  • A cyclist must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible, except when passing, making a left turn, avoiding hazards, if a right turn is legal at the intersection, or if the lane is too narrow to share.
  • If a cyclist is riding in a lane that is not wide enough for a vehicle and a bicycle to share side by side, the cyclist has the right to take the lane.
  • If a cyclist is riding on a roadway with a bike lane and is moving slower than the flow of traffic, the cyclist must use the bike lane.
  • Cyclists may ride their bicycles on a sidewalk as long as city and county regulations allow them to do so.
  • Cyclists may ride their bicycles on freeways and expressways as long as the local government and the California Department of Transportation allows them to do so.

Can a Cyclist Use a Cell Phone?

Distracted driving and distracted cycling can be very dangerous, preventing cyclists and drivers from adequately responding to hazards on the road. Unlike motorists, however, cyclists can legally use a handheld cell phone while operating their bikes. While it is legal, it is still important to be careful while riding a bike—anything that takes your attention away from the road can contribute to a serious accident.

Under California law, cyclists are prohibited from wearing headphones in both ears while operating a bicycle. The only exception to this rule are hearing aids. If a cyclist wants to listen to music while riding, he or she can only place the headphone in one ear.

Filing a Claim After a California Bicycle Accident

If you are involved in a bicycle accident in California, you have the right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, you can only recover this compensation if the driver is truly responsible for your collision. If the court or insurance company discovers that you violated a California bicycle law at the time of the accident, your award could be at risk. For these reasons, it is important to follow all applicable traffic laws every time you are on the road.

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, it is important to have an attorney on your side. A California bicycle accident lawyer can advocate for your rights during the litigation process and help you secure the compensation you deserve. Contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal options.

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