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How can cyclists in California stay safe on the road?

Just as motor vehicles must abide by the laws, so must people who pedal their way around Long Beach. The California Office of Traffic Safety reports that between 2011 and 2012, there was a 7 percent increase in bicycle fatalities. While vehicle operators must do their part to protect riders from danger, people on bikes must also remain safety-focused at all times.

If you ride your bike, you should know that the California Department of Motor Vehicles has determined that bicyclists on the road are subject to all the laws that are applicable to motorists.

The California Bicycle Coalition points out that in order to remain safe, people on bikes should ride as close to the right side of the road as long as it is safe to do so. However, there are certain conditions that will exempt someone from riding in the right lane, such when passing someone, avoiding hazards or preparing to turn left.

The CBC reminds riders to use bike lanes whenever possible and ride with traffic, not against it. Increasing your visibility while on a bicycle can also help to prevent accidents. By law, all bicycles or cyclists must have a white headlight that is visible from the front when riding at night. Additionally, bicycles used for night riding must have the following reflectors: 

  •        A red reflector visible from the back
  •        A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or the cyclist’s shoes or ankles, visible from the front and back
  •        A yellow or white reflector on the front half of the bicycle and a red or white reflector on both sides of the back half of the bike; each of which must be visible from the side

Taking these measures may not guarantee an accident will not happen, but it will go a long way toward providing you protection.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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