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Bicycle Laws in San Francisco

Under the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists in the state have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. However, there are some specific laws that apply only to those on bikes. It is important that all bikers in the city understand what these laws and regulations are. If you are injured by a negligent driver while riding your bike, if you are found to have violated the bicycle laws in San Francisco, it can hurt your case. If you are not sure if you have violated cycling laws in the city, speak to a San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you have incurred in a bike accident, and an attorney can help you get it.

Where to Ride Your Bicycle in San Francisco

Under California law, cyclists must ride on the right side of the road. The only exceptions to this are when the cyclist is passing, attempting to make a left turn, or avoiding hazards. When a roadway has a bike lane and cyclists are moving more slowly than traffic, they must use the bike lane. The same exceptions, such as moving into traffic to pass, apply.

All cyclists on the roadway must travel in the same direction as traffic, not against it. In San Francisco, all bikers age 13 and older are prohibited from riding on the sidewalk.

Bicyclists can freely use the bike paths around the city. However, unless otherwise stated, mopeds and high-speed electric bikes are not allowed in these areas. Additionally, no one can stop along a bicycle path in such a manner that it obstructs other cyclists. Cyclists can never park their bicycles on bike paths.

These laws are in place so that motorists and cyclists can interact safely with each other. Still, sometimes cyclists become hurt. When you are injured in an accident, a bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco can help you prove you were following the relevant bicycle laws.

How to Operate Your Bicycle in San Francisco

In addition to laws on where you can ride, San Francisco also has laws on how to operate your bike. The most well-known of these are San Francisco’s bicycle helmet laws. In California, all cyclists under the age of 18 must wear a bicycle helmet. No cyclist can wear earplugs or a headset that covers both ears.

Just like vehicles, cyclists must also provide right-of-way to pedestrians who are in a marked crosswalk, or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. Cyclists also cannot leave their bicycles on their sides on sidewalks, or in any manner that obstructs pedestrian traffic.

Although cyclists are treated like motor vehicles under San Francisco law, unlike drivers, cyclists can use their phone while operating their bike. This should only be done in emergencies, though, and cyclists should be very careful when doing so. If that phone use contributes to an accident, it could reduce the cyclist’s potential compensation. However, a San Francisco bicycle accident lawyer can help fight for the full compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact Us Today

If you have been injured in an accident, you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney in San Francisco on your side. At Willoughby Brod, LLP, one of our attorneys will review your case free of charge and advise you of any compensation you may be able to claim. If you decide to pursue a lawsuit, we will also give you the best chance of success. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 or reach out to us online for your free case evaluation.

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