While Riverside may not have the same number of bike commuters you’d see in a larger city, such as the 60,000 people who bike in San Francisco every day, more and more people are choosing to ride their bikes to work. While this can have a great impact on a person’s health, can lower their commuting costs, and can be great for the environment, it is also true that the more time a person spends on a bike, the greater their risk of being involved in a bike accident.
At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker we want every bike commuter to be as safe as possible. Keep reading to get five tips to help improve safety when riding. If you are involved in a bike accident, please contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
Always Bike on the Street and on the Right Side
Remember That Pedestrians Have the Right of Way
Obey All Traffic Lights and Signs
Pass on the Left
Pay Attention and Make Sure Others Can See You
Unless you are 13 years or younger, you must ride your bike in the street – even if there is no bike lane. You may feel safer riding on the sidewalk, but you are putting pedestrians and yourself in additional danger. Instead, stay on the street and do not ride against traffic. You are considered a vehicle by the law and as such must follow the flow of traffic. The only exception is when you are walking your bike, at which point you are considered a pedestrian and should be on the sidewalk.
When a pedestrian is crossing the street they have the right of way. This is true even if the crosswalk is not marked. You are also not legally allowed to stop inside a crosswalk as these lanes are designed specifically for pedestrians. Blocking a crosswalk can increase your chance of being in an accident and could result in a citation.
Most accidents happen at intersections and generally involve at least one involved party not paying attention to traffic lights and / or signs. Do not do this. If the light is red then you should only go if you are turning right and it is legal to do so. If you come up to a one-way street, you cannot drive down it the wrong way just because you are on a bike.
It can be tempting to pass on the right when more convenient but this can be a deadly mistake. Just like a car, you must always pass on the left – even if your bike lane is on the left side of the road.
Just as you would do if you were driving a car, you should always be aware of who is on the street with you and where they are. Make sure they can see you too. Follow local regulations regarding lights on your bike. Wear light and / or reflective clothing. The more visible you are, the less likely you will be to be involved in an accident.