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Knowing the laws that apply to cyclists in California is crucial


People in California know that cycling, as a form of exercise, recreation and commuting is far more than just a fad; it is here to stay. Riding a bicycle is a great way to enjoy some sunshine, work up a good sweat, and beat traffic, sometimes all at the same time. Drivers and other people sharing the road with cyclists have a duty to stay alert and aware at all times, but cyclists also have a duty to protect themselves, which starts with knowing all the applicable laws under the California Vehicle Code.

Because bicycles aren't always visible to other cars, California law requires cyclists to do whatever they can to make themselves more apparent and noticeable, especially during twilight and sundown hours. One simple way to accomplish this is through the use of reflectors. California's Vehicle Code requires the use of a white headlight on the front of the bicycle, a red reflector on the back, a white or yellow reflector on each pedal and a reflector on each half of the bike to be visible from the sides.

One of the most important safety devices for bikers is the helmet, which is why California law requires the use of a helmet for any person under the age of 18. While the law doesn't specifically require a helmet for those 18 and older, it is always a smart move that could potentially save a person from death or serious injury.

These are just a few of the bicycle safety requirements in the California Vehicle Code. Avid and beginner cyclists alike should take the time to familiarize themselves with these safety laws. Of course, not every accident is avoidable, and even cyclists who take every precaution and ride safely at all times can still be injured by a negligent driver. Those who are injured in a bicycle accident may want to consider seeking the assistance of an experienced California personal injury attorney to acquire more information.

Source: California Bicycle Coalition "FAQ" accessed June 8, 2015

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