According to new data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bicycle fatalities declined between 2016 and 2017 by the greatest margin in occupant and nonoccupant traffic crash fatalities. Bicycle fatalities decreased by over eight percent, while pedestrian fatalities decreased by less than two percent.
Tips to Avoid a Bicycle Accident in California
Follow the helmet law. Under California Vehicle Code, bicyclists younger than 18 years of age must wear properly-fitted helmets while riding on a public road. Nationwide, California has one of the strictest statewide helmet laws for bicyclists. Many states do not have bicycle helmet laws and those that do set the age requirement lower than California.
Though a helmet is always recommended for safety, adults 18 years of age and older are not required to wear helmets while bicycling.
Avoid distracted cycling.
Distracted cycling includes carrying packages or groceries that would prevent a cyclist from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars. It is also illegal to cycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment, hand-eye coordination and reaction time.
In addition, wearing earplugs or headphones in both ears is illegal. You should always have one ear open. Though texting and cycling is not illegal, it is not recommended. Texting and driving is banned for a reason. You should always be aware of your surroundings while cycling.
Use hand signals.
If a cyclist is coming to a stop, turning or changing lanes, they must use hand signals to warn other motorists. Like other motorists, a cyclist is required to obey lane designations, traffic lights and traffic signs. When using hand signals, it is also important to try to establish eye contact with fellow motorists. Establishing eye contact gives you reassurance that a motorist sees you and understands your intentions.
You can check out our website for more information about San Diego’s bicycle laws and bicyclist responsibilities.
Need a San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Frederick M. Dudek is an avid cyclist and bicycle accident attorney in San Diego. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, a bicycle accident attorney could help you understand your rights as a bicyclist under California law. You could have a viable claim to recover compensation for your injuries. Call Frederick M. Dudek today at (858) 530-4800 or fill out the online case form for a free consultation.
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