Sharing the Road (FFDL 37) - Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists
Each year in California, more than 100 people are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured in bicycle collisions. Some bicycle related crashes are connected to the bicyclist’s behavior, while others are due to the motorist’s lack of attention.
- Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations. Refer to the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with these rules.
- Motorists must look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes, and opening doors next to moving traffic. Respect the right-of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you.
Four Basic Safety TipsHere are four basic bicycling tips:
- Maintain control of your bicycle.
- Protect yourself–reduce the risk of head injury by always wearing a helmet.
- Be visible, alert, and communicate your intentions.
- Ride with traffic.
Maintain Control of Your BicycleThere are many things you can do to control your bicycle, even in an emergency. First, ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you. A properly fitted bicycle is easier to control, more comfortable, and causes less fatigue. A bicycle shop can help you choose the correct size bicycle. Ensure your bicycle is in good working order by inspecting it regularly.
The California Vehicle Code (CVC) contains specific laws pertaining to bicycle riders. For example, it is unlawful to operate a bicycle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug (CVC §21200.5).
Convictions are punishable by a fine of up to $250. If you are under 21, but over 13 years of age, your driving privilege will be suspended or delayed for one year once you are eligible to drive.
Protect YourselfEven a simple fall can cause a life threatening head injury. The brain is fragile and often does not heal the way that broken bones can. The damage can stay with you for life. Properly fitted helmets provide protection. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road (CVC §21212).
Wear your helmet per manufacturer directions.