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Laws surrounding bicycles are meant to increase safety

Bicycling through the streets of California is a healthy way to get around and enjoy some of the beautiful sights. For those who are going to take a ride, it's essential to follow the rules of the road. Not only can this help you to keep you safe but it can avoid legal troubles, too.

Some motorists aren't familiar with the rules of the road for bicyclists. This can pose a problem because they don't know what bicyclists are allowed to do so there's a chance that they'll impede upon your right of way. You should make sure that you're clearly visible to motorists, which means having the required lights and reflectors on your bicycle.

Sharing the road with vehicles

Bicyclists must travel in the same direction as other vehicles on the roads. The only exception is if you're making a left turn or are on a street where it isn't possible to safely ride in that direction. Riding against the flow of traffic is a significant risk for being struck by a vehicle.

Some people think that bicyclists can always ride on sidewalks, but this isn't the case. California law puts the onus on each county and city to determine whether this is legal. For this reason, you should find out about the laws where you're riding to ensure you're in compliance.

One issue that many motorists don't understand is taking the lane. Bicyclists are required to stay to the right side of the road if they're moving slower than the flow of traffic. Bicyclists should use bike lanes when possible. When these lanes are present, you must ride in them if you're moving slower than traffic unless you're passing someone, avoiding a hazard or making a left turn.

Crashes are inevitable

Even if you're doing your part and following the laws, drivers may not be. Bicyclists who are struck by vehicles can face serious injuries that require intensive medical care. You have the option of seeking compensation to help cover the damages that you suffer because of the wreck. This is done via a personal injury lawsuit that must be handled in accordance with California laws. There are time limits for filing these claims, so be sure you act quickly.

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