A bicycle isn’t a vehicle under California law, but bicyclists must follow many of the same laws that operators of motor vehicles must follow. Bicyclists present small and narrow profiles on roadways. If they’re involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, many motorists relate that they either didn’t see the bicycle, or they didn’t see it until it was too late.
The general rule governing bicyclists is clear though. CVC 21200 states that bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as any other person on the roadway who is operating a motor vehicle. What that means is that bicyclists and motorists each owe a duty of due care and caution to each other.
Bicycling at Speeds Slower Than the Speed of Traffic
Bicyclists also have a duty to use due care and caution for their own personal safety and the safety of their property. When a rider is moving at the same speed as traffic, he or she can ride anywhere on the roadway that they want to ride on.
If a rider is traveling at a speed slower than traffic, he or she must ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the road. The only exceptions to this rule are if the rider is passing another bicycle or vehicle or when preparing to make a left turn. CVC 21760 states that when a motor vehicle passes a bicycle on a roadway, it must give three feet of clearance between that bike or rider and the vehicle. If a bicycle lane is available, riders moving slower than the speed of traffic must use it.
The Right-of-Way in a Bike Lane in Livermore
Bike lanes have been established in Livermore for safer movement of bicycles on roadways. Over the past few years, California has been increasing and improving bike lanes for bicyclists throughout the state.
Bicycle riders have the right-of-way in bike lanes, even when a motorist wants to make a right turn. Before that motorist makes a right turn, he or she must yield the right-of-way to any cyclists riding in the bike lane.
Contact a Livermore Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Livermore, you deserve to understand your rights and legal options. Call our Livermore bicycle accident attorneys for a free consultation and case review. Motorists must be held accountable for their negligence. While they might claim that they didn’t know the law or they didn’t see you, their ignorance doesn’t create a legal standing for them. Contact our office today so that you can start working towards your financial recovery while you focus on healing.