California Bicycle Laws: What You Need to Know

California Bicycle Laws: What You Need to Know

A growing number of people in California are riding bicycles. It saves money on fuel for many who ride to and from work. It is also environmentally friendly. During the pandemic, with gyms closed, it is a great option for exercise.

As more bikers enjoy the advantages of riding a bike, the number of bicycle accidents have increased. During the previous three years the average fatalities from biking accidents in California was 155. Another 10,000+ suffered crash-related injuries. There are various reasons for bicycle accidents, but 90 percent are caused by motor vehicles. As a bicyclist, it is your responsibility to know how and where to ride.


• Bicycle riders in California generally have the same rights and responsibilities as car drivers.

• Bicyclists cannot drive under the influence. If stopped, one can be fined $250.

• Minimum bike features include: brakes, handlebars below shoulder level; light and reflectors for dark.

• Bicycle riders are required to stay as close to the right side of the road as possible when traveling slower than cars. Exceptions include when passing, getting ready to make a left-hand turn, trying to avoid a road hazard, when lane is too narrow to share, or if the right lane is a turning lane.

• Stick to the bike lane.

• Bicycle riders MUST ride on the right side of the roadway in the same direction as traffic.

• Anticipate cars entering a bicycle lane.

• Bicyclists under 18 must wear a helmet or be fined up to $25. Parents will be responsible for payment.

• Bicyclists should learn and recognize hand signals.

• Bicyclists are not allowed to use headphones in both ears while riding on a public roadway. You may use a single earbud, however.

• State bicycle laws neither allow nor prohibit bike riders from riding on sidewalks. Instead, the law permits cities and counties to write their own laws regarding sidewalk riding. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LOCAL ORDINANCES BEFORE BICYCLE RIDING.


Our law firm recognizes that bicyclists who are injured by cars and trucks through no fault of their own, often experience serious injuries that require expensive medical treatments and other therapies.

Your options for being compensated for your injuries depend upon who is at fault for the accident. California is a shared negligence state. This means you could be partly at fault for the accident. That doesn’t mean you won’t be compensated for your injuries, it just means that you might not be compensated for 100 percent of your damages.

For example, if you are riding at night without a light on your bicycle when you are hit by a motorist, there will be a percentage of fault assessed to you, i.e., you might be 20 percent at fault, so you will collect 80 percent of your damages.

We represent clients who have been injured in a bicycle accident. We know how to deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. We know how to value your case. We are ready to see that you have representation in your claim to recover your medical costs, lost wages, and other associated expenses.

Contact us for a free evaluation of your case. We have helped many other clients get compensation for their loss.

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