An Overview of Bicycle Laws in California

Posted by Steven R. AndradeJan 14, 20220 Comments

While bikes are a healthy, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly form of recreation and transportation, they also carry some inherent risks. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that approximately 1,100 bicyclists are killed and 300,000 more are injured each year. Traffic poses one of the primary risks to bicyclists. 

If you ride a bike in Santa Barbara County, it is crucial that you know your legal rights and legal duties under state and local law. In this article, our Santa Barbara bike accident lawyers highlight the things that cyclists should know about their rights, their responsibilities, as well as personal injury claims in California.  

Four Things Cyclists Should Know About Their Rights and Responsibilities

Within the California Vehicle Code are instructions regarding the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists. All cyclists in Santa Barbara should have an understanding of California law. Here are four of the most important things that bicyclists need to know: 

  • You Can Control a Lane (on Most Roads): Except for certain highways where bike use is restricted, bicyclists have the right to control an entire lane. You are not required to ride in the corner of a lane. 
  • Stay the Right if Slower Than Traffic: Unless a bicyclist is moving at the same speed as the rest of the surrounding traffic, they should always ride in the right-most lane. There is an exception for making left-hand turns. 
  • Follow Red Lights, Stop Signs, and Other Traffic Regulations: Cyclists should follow the rules of the road—including red lights, stop signs, and other traffic regulations. Failure to do so could make a bicyclist responsible for a resulting collision.  
  • Minors Must Wear a Helmet, Adults Should Wear a Helmet: State law mandates that all riders under the age of 18 must wear a bike helmet on public roads. As helmets prevent brain injuries and save lives, all adults should wear a helmet. 

Injured Bicyclists Deserve Justice and Fair Compensation

Bicycle accident claims are fault-based legal cases. If you were injured in a bike accident, you have the right to hold the responsible party liable for your damages. The defendant could be a motorist, a trucking company, a business/property owner, or any other negligent party. Unfortunately, insurers do not make it easy for injured cyclists to get justice. At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara bicycle accident lawyers are here to help you navigate the claims process and maximize your recovery. Through a bicycle accident injury claim in California, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the following types of losses: 

  • Bicycle repair or replacement; 
  • Ambulance costs and emergency room care;
  • Other medical bills and health-related expenses;
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity; 
  • Pain and suffering and mental distress; 
  • Permanent disfigurement/impairment; and
  • Wrongful death of a family member.  

Speak to a Santa Barbara, CA Bike Accident Injury Attorney Today

At Andrade Law Offices, our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer has deep experience representing injured cyclists. If you were hurt in a bike accident, we are available to help. Get in touch with us by phone or connect with us directly online for your no cost, no commitment consultation. Through our personal practice, we handle bicycle accident claims throughout Santa Barbara County, including in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton, Lompoc, and Guadalupe.