Bicyclists and Lane Usage Rights in Southern California

BicycleThere are many bicyclists getting around on California’s streets and highways and enjoying our famously sunny weather. It’s a marvelous and healthy way to get around while lowering one’s carbon footprint, but this mode of travel comes with significant risks. Many motorists fail to see bicyclists or observe a bicyclist’s right of way and collide with bicyclists who have little to protect them against being struck by a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds. Hundreds are killed every year on California streets and highways, and tens of thousands more are injured. A big part of the problem lies with our car culture and driver’s failure to observe posted speed limits or exercise proper care when sharing the road with bicyclists. However, a large part of the blame also lies with ignorance about bicyclists and lane usage rights in Southern California among both drivers and bicyclists.

To remedy that situation, here is an easy-to-understand rule regarding bicyclists and motor vehicles sharing the same road: when a bicyclist is riding along streets and highways with no designated bike lane, a bicyclist may use the same lanes as other vehicles if they are moving in the same direction as vehicular traffic. Bicyclists must also observe the same rules of the road for stoplights and signs, signaling turns, observing pedestrian and other vehicle rights of way and other laws.

If a driver hits and injures or kills a bicyclist and is found to be negligent, depending on the specifics of the bicycle accident, the driver may be liable for the bicyclist’s injuries. If you or someone you care for has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident, the South Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.

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