Look Out For Bicycle Riders And Share The Road
People in the city of Long Beach love their bicycles – and with good reason! Southern California boasts a wonderful climate year-round, and riding a bike is an efficient way to travel around town and also to get some exercise. There is a downside though, and that is that bicyclists face a great deal of more risk to their safety than other motorists on the road.
WHERE TO RIDE
It’s important for bicyclists to be aware that they have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. Also of importance is for bicyclists to know where they can ride and what exceptions may exist in each of these locations. (The following is from the California Vehicle Code Section 21200-21213.)
Bicycle lanes: When a bike lane is present and you as a bicyclist are going slower than traffic, you must use the bike lane except when passing, turning left, avoiding hazards, or approaching an authorized right turn.
Roadway: When riding on a roadway, where no bike lanes are available, the bicyclist must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely possible. Exceptions include passing, turning left, and avoiding hazards.
Pedestrians at crosswalks: Pedestrians have the right-of-way even in relation to bicycles, no matter whether the pedestrian is inside clearly marked crosswalks or outside of them.
Sidewalks: Many cyclists assume that sidewalks are theirs for riding. That’s not always the case. Local regulations and ordinances apply, so bicyclists should educate themselves on whether or not those sidewalks in their area are ridable.
BIKE VS. CAR – WHO’S AT FAULT?
Most people assume that the operator of a motor vehicle is at fault in a car vs. bicycle accident, but that’s not always the case. As stated previously, bicyclists they have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. A bicyclist who violates or ignores the rules of the road can be found liable in an accident with a car or truck. Often the question of liability in these cases is not clear cut. Was the bicyclist violating the rules of where they can ride? Was the motorist speeding, or perhaps distracted by their cell phone? There can be a lot of gray area in these bike vs. car accidents, and that’s where you need legal assistance.
The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV is an experienced Long Beach bicycle injury lawyer who can help you with your claim. An avid cyclist himself, Low knows the right questions to ask to get you started toward the potential compensation you deserve. Call the firm today toll free at (888) 454-5569.