Cycling is an incredibly popular way to get around in California. Despite the physical benefits and environmental advantages of riding in lieu of driving, however, it has one major drawback. In the event of an impact, bicyclists are incredibly vulnerable.
Serious injuries are all but inevitable when a car sideswipes a bicycle. Unfortunately, with more cyclists on the road than ever before, there are also more opportunities for these kinds of devastating collisions.
California lawmakers have recognized as much, and starting in 2023, there’s going to be a new law in place that will hopefully protect bicyclists riding alongside moving traffic. Pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 21760, motorists in California will be required to change lanes (when possible and practical) before passing a cyclist who is traveling in the same direction and lane.
The new law builds upon the current requirement, which is called the Three Feet for Safety Act. This statute specifies that motorists must leave at least three feet of distance between themselves, including any part of their vehicle, and the bicyclists they pass on the highway.
When it’s not possible to comply with this act, either due to traffic or roadway conditions, motorists are expected to slow down until they’re traveling at a speed that is reasonable and prudent. Furthermore, they must not pass the bicyclist until doing so will not endanger his or her safety, taking into account the traffic conditions, weather, visibility, and width of the highway.
Violating the Three Feet for Safety Act is considered a traffic infraction and can result in a fine of $35. Additionally, if a motorist violating the act strikes a cyclist and causes them bodily injury, it can result in a fine of $220. It could also result in significant financial obligations in the form of civil damages.
Since California is a fault state, motorists who cause collisions are generally responsible for the losses that result. Victims usually seek the compensation they deserve by filing a third-party claim with the liable driver’s auto insurance carrier. If you’re recovering from bicycle accident injuries and you’re thinking about filing such a claim, it’s wise to enlist legal help.
Speak with a Long Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
If you were seriously hurt while riding alongside moving traffic despite following the rules of the road, you may have grounds for legal action. To determine how best to proceed, turn to the Law Office of Michael D. Waks.
When you hire attorney Waks, you can count on working with attorney Waks, who gives all his clients a direct line of contact. To schedule your free initial consultation with this Long Beach bicycle accident attorney, call (562) 206-1939or fill out the Contact Form on our website.
Print Our Car Accident Emergency Response .PDF
Should you ever find yourself in another bicycle accident, you’re going to want to record the scene thoroughly before leaving the area. This will make it easier to put together a compelling claim when the time comes. By printing our Car Crash Emergency Response .pdf—you can download it HERE for free—and keeping a copy in one of your saddlebags, you’ll always have a checklist on hand that walks you through the process of documenting the scene of a crash.
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