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How Well Do You Know California’s Bicycle Laws? Take This Quiz

Riding your bicycle in California is usually an enjoyable experience, with our state’s various bike trails and beautiful weather. But sometimes, this experience can turn into something you don’t expect. Bicycle accidents are common throughout California, and are caused by a wide variety of factors. One of the most helpful ways that you can try to avoid a bicycle accident is to take the time to learn about our state’s various bicycle laws.

Knowledgeable California Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help You

California has a whole host of laws pertaining to bicycling. This is largely due to the fact that bicycling is incredibly popular in our state. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, over 10,000 bicyclists are injured in accidents and collisions every year.

At Maison Law, we’re well aware of how exciting and dangerous riding a bicycle can be here in California. Throughout our years of practice, we have developed a proven system of success for our clients that have been injured in these unfortunate accidents. Not only can we explain California’s various bicycle laws to you, but we can also help you get the support you need if you have been in an accident. To schedule a free consultation with our office, contact us today.

Answer: Per CVC 21202 and 21204, every bicycle in California must have the following equipment:

  • A brake that allows them to execute to a wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
  • Handlebars that are not higher than your shoulders.
  • Bicycles must be small enough to stop, support with one foot on the ground, and restart safely.
  • A white headlight or white light attached to you and that’s visible from the front when driving at night.
  • A rear red reflector and white or yellow pedal reflectors. On the front of your bike, there must be a white or yellow reflector that’s visible from the side, and a red or white reflector on the rear of the bicycle visible from the side.
  • A permanent, regular seat.
  • A seat which retains them in place and protects them from moving parts when the bicyclist is under 40lbs.

Answer: No, only those bicyclists and passengers under the age of 18 are legally required to wear a helmet while on a bicycle in California. The helmet also has to meet ANSI standards. Even though those over 18 don’t have to wear a helmet, every bicyclist should wear one when out on the road.

Answer: No, bicycles are prohibited from being ridden on any California freeway. While bicycles are generally permitted on any roadway in California, they cannot be used on any freeway.

Answer: Yes, according to CVC 21200.5, bicyclists–like any other vehicle user–are prohibited from driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Thus, bicyclists are subject to the same penalties for DUI as any other driver in California.

Answer: No. There is no law in place that says you have to leave the road when a car is behind you. In fact, the law maintains that when there is a car or other vehicle behind you, you simply have to stay as close to the right side of the road as possible. Also, bicyclists must travel in the same direction as traffic.

Answer: No. CVC 27400 prohibits the use of headphones or any other covering of the ears while on a bicycle. This allows the person on the bike to stay alert and be able to listen for any potential hazards.

Answer: No. Bicyclists aren’t permitted to park or stop their bike on any sidewalk, path, or anywhere else that would impede pedestrian traffic. While you can ride your bicycle on the sidewalk in most California locations, doing so in a reckless fashion could open you up to potential liability in an accident.

Answer: Yes. Under the law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as any other driver in California. This also means that bicycles are subject to the same fines and penalties for violations of the law.

Answer: Technically, no. According to CVC 21205, all bicyclists in California must have one hand on the handlebars at all times. While you don’t have to keep both hands on handlebars while on a bicycle, doing so allows you more control. Along the same lines, this law makes it illegal to carry anything while on a bike that wouldn’t allow you to keep at least one hand on the handlebars.

Answer: No. Under the law, motorized bicycles are not permitted on any bicycle path, trail, or lane in California. A motorized bicycle, it should be pointed out, differs from an electric bicycle, which have their own set of rules and regulations.

Contact Experienced and Knowledgeable California Bicycle Accident Lawyers

When you get on a bicycle in California, you have to be aware of the various laws that are in place to protect you and other drivers. Riding a bike in California offers you the tremendous opportunity for beautiful views and an experience that is second to none. Knowing what the laws are is only one part of the equation, though. When the law is violated and you are in a bicycle accident, you need experience and knowledge on your side. Maison Law can provide you just that if you’ve been in a bicycle accident.

We have a proven system of success in helping clients get the benefits and support they need after a bicycle accident. If this has happened to you, contact us today for a free consultation.


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