Bicyclists are at a higher risk of suffering severe injuries if they get into an accident with other motorists. While most of these life-threatening collisions result from the drivers’ negligence on the road, cyclists are required to do their part by understanding and following California’s bike laws.
Usually, the party that disregards the other road user’s safety is responsible for compensating the other. A Fresno personal injury law firm can fight for injured persons’ rights and help them win maximum compensation.
What Reflectors Do Bicycles Need At Night?
Night-time visibility is critical in preventing bicycle accidents in California. And if you do everything required to remain visible on the road, but a negligent driver still hits you, a Fresno bike accident attorney can help.
- A yellow or white reflector in front, on both sides, towards the center
- A red or white reflector towards the center, on both sides of the rear
- If the bicycle’s back and front tires are reflectorized, the front and rear reflectors may not be necessary
- A yellow or white reflector on each ankle, shoe, or pedal. It should be visible from the rear or front, from 200 feet away
- A red reflector on the rear, which is visible from 500 feet away
Does the Law Protect Cyclists in Right Turns on the Road?
Whether using the bike lane or the traffic lane, a reckless driver can make a right turn and hit you. This often happens when the driver overtakes you and thereafter slows down to make the turn. In other instances, the car might just turn without looking and cause an accident.
The law forbids a motorist from making a turn unless it is safe to do so. Therefore, they have a responsibility to look out for any cyclist on the road. But if they fail, they will be liable, and a Fresno bicycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation for the damages.
How Should a Motorist Behave While Sharing Lanes with Passing Traffic?
Many cyclists get confused when they are forced to share traffic with other motorists. Notably, bicyclists and motorists have equal rights to the road, and passing vehicles are required to maintain a safe distance of three feet. A car behind you has the responsibility of waiting until it is safe to pass your bicycle.
A cyclist is not supposed to get out of the motorist’s way or stop. Instead, the motor vehicle should change lanes or slow down until there is enough space to pass. If you are knocked over, a skilled Fresno bicycle accident lawyer can use information like the width of the traffic lane; the width of your bicycle at the handlebars, and the width of the vehicle that hit you – to build your case.
Which Side of the Road Should a Cyclist Ride On?
If your cycling speed isn’t as par with the motor vehicle traffic, you may have to stay on the farthest right side of the road. But if the cyclist uses a one-way street, the law requires them to ride on the farthest left.
Bicyclists ought to utilize the special bike lane on the far right if it is provided. But some circumstances can allow you to leave the bike lane:
- To avoid road hazards or debris
- If they need to make a left turn
- If the lane is too narrow to share safely with others
- If the bicyclist can keep up with the speed of the moving traffic
What Happens if I Hit an Opening Door of a Parked Car?
Usually, bicycles ride on the right – near the parked cars. If a driver of a parked vehicle decides to open the door (car dooring), they are obligated to only do so if it is reasonably safe. Therefore, they will be considered negligent if the door hits you in most circumstances.
However, if there was no traffic and the cyclist had no obligation to remain on the far right, the blame might be shifted to you. The driver may argue that you had a chance to avoid the door by moving away.
What is the Appropriate Bike Size in California?
A bike is your ideal size if you can support it in an upright position with one of your feet on the ground. This ensures that the bicyclist can easily stabilize, control, stop, and start their bike and remain safe on the road.
Handlebars should not be higher than the shoulders of the cyclist. You will want to stay away from giraffe unicycles and tall bikes. Adhering to these requirements ensures that the insurance adjuster doesn’t shift liability to you if anything happens on the road.
What Are Other Basic Safety Measures Outlined for Bicyclists?
It is mandatory for any cyclists under 18 years to wear a helmet in California. And if the minor weighs 40 pounds or less or is four years or younger – they should have a seat that protects them from the moving parts of the bicycle and retains them in the chair.
If you enjoy listening to your favorite playlist while you cycle, you can only wear one plug and keep the other ear open. This ensures that you are alert to screeching tires, shouting pedestrians, or horns that could alert you of a possible disaster. Luggage carried by hands should not hinder the cyclist from keeping at least one hand on the handlebar. Here are other bicycle safety measures to take note of.
Guidance of a Legal Expert in Fresno, CA
Everyone needs an experienced California personal injury lawyer, whether your personal injury case ends up in court or you decide to negotiate with the insurance adjuster. It is not easy to win against someone that understands the state and specific cities’ laws on bicycles and motor vehicles.
The goal in personal injury cases is to maximize the compensation the victim receives to restore their lives – at least financially. As one recovers from the physical pain and suffering, a skilled bicycle accident lawyer could help in seeking justice. Call the experienced attorneys at Tomassian, Pimentel & Shapazian on 559-277-7300 to learn your legal options.