Category Archives: California

California Truck Lane Restrictions

Monday, October 23, 2017

It is an unfortunate reality that smaller, lighter passenger vehicles must drive alongside large, heavy commercial trucks to fuel America’s economy. Big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger vehicle weighs just 3,500 pounds. The immense size difference between the two can lead to major damage to the smaller car and its passengers in a collision. The State of California strives to reduce the number of truck accidents on its highways by enacting truck lane restrictions. Learning the law can help you stay as far away as possible from large trucks when on California’s highways.

Truck-Only Lanes in California

Very few truck-only lanes exist throughout the country. In most states, large trucks and passenger vehicles must intermingle, but trucks must simply stay out of the left lane on certain highways. California, however, has two truck-only lanes in existence and more potentially on the way. As of now, the two lanes that only trucks may operate in are as follows:

  • Northbound and southbound 1-5 in LA County at the State Route 14 split. The truck lane begins as two roads, northbound at LA County postmile C043.925 and southbound at postmile C043.899. Both roads meet at postmile C044.924. These trucks lanes separate slower-moving large trucks from the general traffic that moves faster. The roads run 2.426 miles northbound and 2.452 southbound. This truck-only road has been in existence for about 30 years.
  • Southbound I-5 in Kern County at the State Route 99 junction. On Route 99 near the Grapevine, postmile L000.629, a truck-only lane begins. The lane continues for 0.346 miles until I-5 at postmile R-15.492. The point of the lane is to allow large trucks to merge farther downstream of where other vehicles merge between I-5 and State Route 99. This truck-only lane could potentially prevent collisions between trucks and smaller vehicles in an already difficult merge area.

All large trucks must travel in truck-only lanes when they arise. There are black and white highway signs indicating where truck-only lanes begin and end. These are enforceable signs that all truck drivers must obey. Failure to use truck-only lanes when available can result in fines. Passenger vehicles may technically drive in truck-only lanes, but green highways signs encourage them not to do so. Since the signs are green, they are not enforceable.

Large Trucks in the Left Lane

California sees a particularly large number of commercial trucks on its roadways. For this reason, the state has enacted somewhat strict rules when it comes to large trucks on the highway. California is one of few states with a law that prohibits “motor trucks, truck tractors with three axles or more, and truck tractors pulling vehicles” from driving in the left-hand lane while on the highway. These slower-moving vehicles must remain in the right-hand lane or the second-right-hand lane if on a highway with four lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.

If a large truck disobeys lane restrictions, the driver could receive fines of up to $250 for a third offense within one year. Any slower-moving vehicle, regardless of size, must use the furthest right-hand lane while driving in California, except when passing or making a left turn. The California Highway Patrol enforces truck lane restrictions and will stop large trucks should they disobey the law.

Posted by highrank at 5:29 pm

Are Trucks Allowed to Drive in the Left Lane?

Monday, October 16, 2017

You’re driving down the 58, maintaining the speed limit in the far-left lane. You’re going to be just on time for work. Suddenly, a large commercial truck merges into the lane in front of you. You hit your brakes to accommodate the slower speed and are annoyed because now you’ll be late for work or have to pass the big rig using the middle lane. More importantly, a truck driver who broke California’s roadway laws has put you in a potentially dangerous position. Here’s what you need to know about trucks in the left lane in The Golden State. For more information, speak with an experienced Bakersfield truck accident lawyer.

Rules of the Road for Truckers

California Vehicle Code Section 21654 states that any vehicle traveling on a highway at less than the average speed of moving traffic must drive in the right-hand lane, as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb. The only time a slower-moving vehicle can leave the right-hand lane is to overtake and pass a different vehicle traveling along the same directional path, or if preparing to make a left-hand exit or turn. This law applies to all large trucks (those with three axles or more).

In California, motor trucks, truck tractors with at least three axles, and truck tractors pulling another vehicle must use designated truck lanes at all times if they exist. They cannot come out of designated lanes unless passing or turning. If no designated lane exists on the roadway, the truck must remain in the farthest right-hand lane, or the second-to-right-hand lane if the highway has four or more lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. To pass, a truck must use the designated lane, right-hand lane, or second-to-right lane.

If a large truck drives in the left lane, the driver has broken a California roadway law and may face penalties. For a first offense, the driver may face fines of up to $100. If the driver receives a second offense within one year, the fine is up to $200. For a third offense in one year, the fine increases to $250. These are steep fines compared to similar laws in other states. The only evidence law enforcement needs to charge a driver with this infraction is that the vehicle was traveling at a slower speed than the rest of traffic in the same direction and was driving in the left-hand lane.

Dangers of Trucks in the Left Lane

There is a reason that all highways use the rule that faster-moving vehicles use the left lane, and slower-moving vehicles use the right lane. On a multilane highway, dividing the vehicles based on speed increases the safety and efficiency of the road. Drivers can easily become frustrated if they’re stuck behind a slower moving vehicle, and the situation could end in road rage.

Too many drivers in the fast lane can create a major highway problem, with sudden and unexpected changes in speed and rear-end collisions. If a large truck merges into the far-left lane, it will slow down traffic and cause other drivers to weave in and out of traffic lanes to pass the truck. This increases the risk of a potentially severe car accident. If you see a large truck in the left lane in California, consider calling Highway Patrol to report the truck and its driver.

Posted by highrank at 5:25 pm

California’s Motorcycle Helmet Law

Monday, October 9, 2017

As a motorcyclist in California, it’s your duty to know the laws that apply to you and obey them. It’s also your right to stand up for yourself when you know you were following the rules and still ended up in an accident. Having a thorough understanding of California’s motorcycle helmet law can give you confidence and control when you hit the open road and a solid foundation should you need to hire a Bakersfield motorcycle accident lawyer and file a personal injury claim. You’ll know exactly when you were in the right. Here’s an overview of what you should know.

California motorcycle helmet laws

Do You Need a Helmet in California?

Yes. California is one of 19 states that require all motorcyclists to wear helmets. California Vehicle Code Section 27803 states that a driver and any passenger shall wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards when riding on a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle. It is unlawful for a driver or a passenger not to wear a helmet at any time while on a motorcycle in California. The law applies to motorcyclists on rural and urban roads and highways. It is a statewide, universal law that applies to all ages.

“Wearing a safety helmet,” means the helmet must comply with federal laws, and fit snugly on your head. Look for the Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker when purchasing a helmet, or another indication that the manufacturer complied with federal safety standards in the creation of the helmet. The helmet must be of a size that fits the wearer’s head securely, without excessive movement, and fastened with helmet straps. The law does not apply to those on fully enclosed three-wheel motor vehicles over seven feet in length and four feet in width.

While California’s current law makes it mandatory for everyone to wear a motorcycle helmet, the law could be changing in the future. In 2011, Assemblyman Chris Norby introduced Assembly Bill 695. AB 695 proposes an amendment to the existing motorcycle helmet law, wherein a person who is 21 years or older who has either completed a safety training program or received authorization to operate the vehicle with a class M1 license or endorsement for two or more years would not have to wear a motorcycle helmet. This amendment is currently pending.

Penalties for Not Wearing a Helmet

Motorcyclists and their passengers can face fines and penalties for failing to wear approved helmets while operating in California. The law states that an enforcement officer has the right to either charge the individual with a simple equipment violation or a greater penalty. An equipment violation is a $10 fine with a proof of correction, according to the California Vehicle Code. The California Highway Patrol, however, states that a violation of the helmet law is an immediate safety hazard and is therefore not correctable.

If the officer were to follow the CHP’s guidelines, you could face up to $250 in fines and one year of probation. It’s largely up to the arresting officer, as the laws are unclear. Avoid any penalties and protect your personal safety by wearing a motorcycle helmet in California. It’s currently the law, and it could save your life.

Posted by highrank at 5:19 pm

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on a Settlement?

Monday, September 18, 2017

If you resolve your personal injury claim with a settlement between yourself and the other party, first, enjoy your victory. Then, think about the large sum of money you are about to receive. You will have to pay your attorney’s fees and any court costs in most cases, on top of using the settlement to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Finding out you also have to pay taxes on your settlement could really make the glow of victory dim. Luckily, personal injury settlements are largely tax-free.

Federal and State Settlement Taxation

As a general rule, neither the federal nor the state government can impose taxes on the proceeds you receive from a personal injury claim. Claim proceeds are more or less tax-free, whether you settled your claim or went to trial to get a jury verdict. The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the California state government cannot tax settlements in most cases. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. You may face taxation on the following:

  • Breach of contract settlements or awards. If a breach of contract caused your injuries or physical illness, and the breach is the basis of your lawsuit, the government has the right to tax any damages you receive.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages, or those awarded for the sole purpose of punishing the defendant, are taxable in California. Your Bakersfield attorney will ask the judge or jury to separate the verdict or settlement into punitive and compensatory damages. That way, the IRS will only tax you for the punitive damages.
  • Lost wages. This economic damage award is typically taxable since the government sees it as money you would have had to pay taxes on were it not for the injury. Since your normal wages would have been taxes, your lost wage award will be as well. The IRS has the right to impose the taxation of your award as it sees fit.
  • Interest on judgment. If the court adds interest to the verdict for the amount of time the claim has been pending, the government may tax this portion of your award or settlement. For example, you may have to pay taxes on interest you receive for a claim you brought in 2014 that did not resolve until 2017.

Keep in mind that the only non-taxable claim settlements are those that arise from physical injury or illness claims. If your lawsuit deals with emotional distress or employment discrimination, the government will tax your settlement. You may be able to elude taxation if you can prove even the smallest amount of physical injury. A lawyer may be able to help you with this burden of proof and ensure you receive a non-taxable settlement as much as possible.

How to Pay Settlement Taxes

If part or all of your settlement is taxable, the government will tax it as though it were part of your ordinary income. You will have to list all applicable awards on your annual tax return statement and pay tax on in the amount of your personal income tax rate. Work with a tax specialist if you have a particularly large or complex personal injury settlement. Your attorney can also help you understand the specific tax repercussions of your settlement or jury verdict.

Posted by highrank at 4:59 pm

What Is a Third Party Car Insurance Claim?

Monday, September 11, 2017

California is a fault state when it comes to car accidents, meaning the injured party must prove the other party’s fault before that person’s insurance will cover damages. After many car accidents in California, injured parties will submit claims to insurance companies other than their own. This might be the case, for example, if the other party caused the crash. Filing a claim with an insurer other than one’s own is a “third-party claim.” It is a common type of claim that leads to a slightly different insurance process.

The Third-Party Claims Process

When you’re involved in a car accident in California, your first instinct may be to call your own insurance company to report the crash. If you weren’t at fault for the accident, however, you should first contact the insurance company of the at-fault driver or other individual or entity. This is why it’s important to always stop and collect the information of the other driver after an accident. The other driver may not have admitted fault at the scene, but, if you believe he or she is to blame, contact the driver’s insurer before contacting your own.

Report the accident to the other driver’s insurer. Stick purely to the facts of the case, and give short answers to the representative’s questions. The insurance agent assigned to your case, known as the claims adjuster, will have the goal of getting you to settle for as little as possible. The adjuster may offer a settlement within the first one or two phone calls if the other driver was at fault. Resist the urge to accept these offers. First, talk to a Bakersfield car accident attorney about the real value of your car accident claim.

When you make a third-party insurance claim, the company will try to save money by offering a low-ball settlement award. The company may tempt you to take the settlement, saying that it’s a fast way to get your hands on the money. However, your injuries and property damage could garner a much greater verdict or award in a personal injury claim. It’s typically wise to reject at least the first offer but talk to your attorney first. A car insurance lawyer can help you choose the best path for your unique wishes, and negotiate with a third-party insurer.

Tips for Third-Party Insurance Claims

Be wary when talking to insurance adjusters over the phone. The insurance claims adjuster works for the company, not for you. An adjuster often sees several cases per month. He or she will likely know less about your claim than you do. Keep your answers short when conversing with the other driver’s insurance company. Stay truthful, but do not offer up information that the adjuster does not request.

Do not agree to record any statements over the phone. The insurance company can use what you say against you. Talk to a lawyer if you have any doubts about dealing with insurance claims adjusters. If the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim, you can begin the appeals process. Study the policy in question to learn how to appeal the company’s decision. The appeals process can be complex and often comes down to something in the policy that bars you from recovery in certain scenarios. Retaining an insurance attorney can help you navigate these issues.

Posted by highrank at 4:48 pm

Car Safety Inspections in California

Monday, August 14, 2017

Every state has unique laws concerning vehicle safety inspections, and California has a few special considerations not seen in other states. All California drivers, especially those moving to or driving in the state for the first time, need to understand their obligations as drivers when it comes to vehicle safety inspections. California drivers also need to understand smog inspections and make sure they have them done as required. If you were involved in an auto accident in California, the Bakersfield car accident lawyers at Rodriguez & Associates can meet with you to discuss the possibility of the other driver being at fault for operating a vehicle in a state of disrepair.

Typical annual car safety inspections include checking for a vehicle’s carbon emissions, leaks, fluid levels, and mechanical integrity. These inspections help keep dangerous cars off the road and ensure drivers are not posing a danger to themselves, other drivers, or the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for establishing and enforcing emissions regulations in the United States. Drivers must ensure their cars meet EPA standards and all other requirements set forth by state law. California’s smog inspection requirements are the result of the state’s near-legendary pollution levels, and only certain vehicles require these inspections.

California Smog Inspections

Most California vehicles from model year 1976 or newer will require biennial smog inspections for each registration renewal. Vehicles that are six model years or less old are exempt from smog inspections, but owners must pay an annual smog abatement fee for the first six registration years. Additionally, diesel-powered vehicles from model year 1998 or newer with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 14,000 pounds or less are exempt from smog inspections as well. Drivers who transfer vehicle registrations in California will not need smog inspections as long as the vehicle is four or less years old, but this rule does not apply to diesel vehicles.

Other vehicles exempt from the smog certification requirements include:

  • Electric vehicles.
  • Natural gas-powered vehicles with GVWR less than 14,000 lbs.
  • Gasoline-powered vehicles from the model year 1975 or older.
  • Diesel-powered vehicles from model year 1997 or older with a GVWR less than 14,000 lbs.

If a California vehicle owner wishes to sell a vehicle to another driver, the seller must provide a valid smog inspection certification at the time of transfer or sale. A smog inspection certificate is good for 90 days from the inspection date, and some drivers will need to provide biennial smog inspection reports. It’s important to understand the registration and smog inspection requirements at the county and zip code level as well. A smog inspection is only valid if it takes place at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) -approved service center.

Ensure Your Compliance

Many vehicle owners sell their cars and buy new ones from other private sellers every day in California. While there is nothing wrong with legitimate good business, both buyers and sellers need to be aware of a vehicle’s model year, inspection requirements, and smog inspection record before agreeing to a sale. Anyone who is unsure about the registration requirements should contact their local DMV office for more information. The California DMV can also be an excellent resource for questions concerning legal title transfers, private vehicle sales, smog inspection certifications, and more.

Posted by highrank at 3:33 pm

Is Lane Splitting Legal in California?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Lane splitting, also called “lane sharing” or “white-lining,” describes a motorcyclist cutting between lanes of slower-moving traffic, or pulling in front of stopped traffic at a red light. While this may sound dangerous, it can actually help improve the flow of traffic and allow motorcyclists to escape congested areas where they are more likely to get into motorcycle accidents.

California allows competent, experienced motorcyclists to lane split as long as they follow a few guidelines:

  • The motorcyclist should not exceed 10 miles per hour faster than the surrounding vehicles. For example, in a 25 mph speed limit zone, motorcyclists should not exceed 35 mph to lane split. Higher speeds mean less time for motorcyclists to react to changes on the road or slow down in time to avoid colliding with other vehicles.
  • Motorcyclists should only engage in lane-splitting in low-speed areas. Ideally, no one should lane split at any speed above 35 mph. At even 20 mph it can take several seconds for a rider to notice and react to a change in traffic, and the rider can travel up to 60 feet in that short time.
  • Try to only engage in lane-splitting in the two leftmost lanes. Drivers are more accustomed to seeing lane splitting on the left side of the road, and drivers may not react appropriately to lane-splitting on the right side of the road.
  • Avoid lane splitting on sharp curves and freeway ramps.
  • Only one motorcyclist should attempt to lane split at a time, and motorcyclists should never attempt to lane split across multiple adjacent lanes at the same time. For example, if two motorcyclists attempt to lane split between three cars across three lanes, motorcycles suddenly appearing on either side of the driver in the middle lane may startle him or her, or the driver may drift to one side or the other to make room for the motorcyclist the driver spots first.
  • Refrain from lane splitting on sharp turns, long curves, or roads that have differently-sized lanes.
  • Avoid lane-splitting at night when visibility is poor. A motorcycle suddenly speeding between lanes can be difficult to see, and other drivers may react poorly. Nighttime is a good opportunity for motorcyclists traveling together to engage in “lane-sharing,” or driving side-by-side in the same lane. This actually makes the motorcycles more visible to other drivers as their taillights resemble a larger, more visible car from a distance. Motorcyclists who lane-share still need to be very aware of the distance between them.
  • Avoid lane-splitting during severe weather. Inclement weather makes driving more difficult for all drivers, but motorcyclists often suffer the most. Motorcycles are more prone to sliding and other water-related hazards than larger, heavier cars. Lane-splitting in the rain makes an already hazardous situation more dangerous.
  • Be very careful of the time you choose to split lanes. Stay alert for sudden changes on the road, and complete each split as quickly as possible. Taking too long could mean lingering in another driver’s blind spot for too long.

Lane splitting is legal in California and can sometimes help other drivers by alleviating traffic congestion. However, it’s important for California motorcyclists to understand the risks of lane splitting and only do so when conditions are safest. If you or somebody you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, reach out to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Bakersfield.

Posted by highrank at 3:21 pm

California Auto Insurance Requirements

Monday, July 17, 2017

All American drivers require auto insurance to legally drive, and every state has unique insurance requirements for drivers. California drivers need to make sure their policies offer at least the minimum required coverage, but having minimal coverage can be risky, especially in the event of a serious accident.

California follows a fault rule for car accident claims. Unlike no-fault states that require drivers to file insurance claims against their own policies after accidents, in fault states, a driver in a fault-based state has more flexible options. California drivers who suffer injuries or other damages from at-fault drivers may file an insurance claim against their own policies if desired, file a claim against the at-fault driver’s policy, or sue the at-fault driver in a personal injury lawsuit.

Minimum Coverage in California

California law requires that all drivers secure auto insurance policies that include:

  • At least $15,000 in coverage for death or injury.
  • At least $30,000 for injuries to multiple people or multiple fatalities.
  • At least $5,000 in property damage coverage.

Remember, these are the bare minimum requirements. It’s usually best to purchase additional coverage. In the event you are at-fault for an accident, your insurance claim will only cover the limit of your policy coverage. If your damages are more expensive, it will be up to you to pay the difference.

California drivers who do not wish to purchase insurance coverage may still legally drive, but only after making a cash deposit of at least $35,000 to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), obtaining a self-insurance certificate from the DMV, or purchasing a $35,000 surety bond from a licensed issuer.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Although not required by law, purchasing underinsured motorist or uninsured motorist coverage can be very beneficial in California. California has more drivers without insurance than most other states, and if you find yourself in an accident with an at-fault driver who has no insurance, you will need to look to your own policy for coverage. Most insurers will allow you to purchase underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage

Risks of Driving Without Insurance

The primary reason for purchasing auto insurance is to avoid incurring legal penalties for breaking the law. Any driver found behind the wheel without insurance faces fines, demerit points on his or her driver’s license, and possibly harsher penalties. Additionally, driving without insurance coverage means that if your car or personal property requires repairs or replacement after an accident, or if you suffer serious injuries, you will need to pay for those expenses yourself.

Additionally, insurance coverage can also help those who cannot return to work for some time after an accident. In most situations, a driver can file a claim against an at-fault driver for coverage and then file a claim against his or her own policy if the at-fault driver’s coverage is insufficient. A lawsuit against the at-fault driver can also help injured drivers recoup their losses after accidents. If you are unsure about your insurance requirements, or have recently been in an accident and are worried about insurance claim issues, reach out to a reliable Bakersfield car accident attorney for help.

Posted by highrank at 9:53 pm

Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in California?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Many drivers who experience car accidents wonder if they need to involve the police. In the state of California, reporting a car accident is almost always required. If the accident caused any injury, no matter how slight, a death, or damage estimated to be more than $750 in repairs, the drivers involved need to report it to the police.

Steps After an Accident in California

Immediately following a car accident in California your first priorities should be to make sure your vehicle is completely stopped and then assess your injuries. If it is too painful to move, remain where you are and wait for the paramedics to arrive. Call 911 if you are able unless one of the other drivers involved tells you he or she has already contacted the police. Moving when injured can make an injury worse or cause secondary injuries, so wait for emergency medical responders to arrive and render aid instead of risking further injury by moving yourself.

If you feel well enough to move, assess the conditions of the other drivers involved and start taking photos of the accident scene as soon as you are sure the authorities are on their way. Try to take photos of the damage to all the vehicles involved, skid marks on the road, and the traffic signs and signals in the immediate vicinity. These photos will help investigators establish the cause of the crash and the liability of the drivers involved.

Talking to the Police

Once the police arrive they will take statements from everyone involved in the crash and any eyewitnesses in the area. Even if you know the accident was your fault, it is very important to choose your words carefully when speaking with the police. Seemingly harmless figures of speech like “I’m sorry,” or “I couldn’t see,” could lead to a higher degree of liability than you are rightfully due, and could complicate your ability to collect compensation through a personal injury claim against another driver. Investigators, police, and insurance claim adjusters will construe such expressions as admissions of fault.

When you speak with the police at the crash scene, answer all of their questions as completely and concisely as possible. If you don’t know the answer to a question, do not guess. Instead, inform the officer you are unsure of the answer and don’t want to provide a false response. Once the police finish their investigation, they will start cleaning up the accident site and let you know when you are free to go.

Failing to Report a California Car Accident

If you do not report an accident in California to the police when required to do so, you risk facing fines, license suspension, or even hit-and-run charges. Many drivers who get into small fender-benders with other drivers may agree to settle things outside of insurance claims and police involvement to save money and hassle, but this is only acceptable for accidents that cause very light damage (costing less than $750 to repair) and no injuries. If you are unsure whether or not you need to report an accident, it is always better to report it.

Posted by highrank at 9:18 pm

Bicycle Laws in California

Monday, July 3, 2017

Many Californians enjoy bicycling as a leisure activity, as exercise, or as an alternative method of transportation. Bicycling helps the environment by cutting down on fossil fuel consumption and pollution, and riding a bike is significantly less expensive than driving a car. However, despite these advantages, there are some risks associated with bicycling, and bicyclists in California need to know the state’s laws for bicycling to avoid liability for accidents and damages. If you have any further questions regarding bicycle accident liability in California, speak with a knowledgeable Bakersfield bike accident attorney.

California Bike Laws

Bicyclists must follow the traffic laws just like all other motor vehicle drivers. While some bicyclists understand this and ride safely in accordance with the local laws, others may assume they are not beholden to traffic laws since they are not driving motor vehicles. This is not the case, and a bicyclist who causes an accident due to ignoring the traffic laws could face severe legal penalties for doing so. Additionally, a bicyclist who suffers injuries due to his or her failure to abide by California’s traffic laws could lose his or her chance to secure compensation through a personal injury claim.

California follows a comparative negligence law, meaning an injured plaintiff can still sue for damages and secure compensation, even if he or she was partially at fault for those damages. A judge will assess the facts of the case and assign the plaintiff a “fault percentage.” One hypothetical example could involve a bicyclist who fails to signal a turn and collides with a car. The bicyclist sustains severe injuries, but traffic camera recordings show the bicyclist did not signal properly and made an unsafe turn. The judge still recognizes the car’s driver as having a higher duty of care due to the nature of the vehicle and assigns the bicyclist a 25% fault percentage. If the damages in the case are $100,000 and the bicyclist wins, he or she would lose 25% of the case award, receiving $75,000 instead.

Taking the Lane and Riding with Traffic

California state law allows bicyclists to “take the lane,” or move into position in front of another vehicle in the next lane after signaling the lane change. Bicyclists should ride as far to the right in the lane as possible unless making a left turn, avoiding a hazard, or taking a lane. Other drivers should yield to bicyclists taking a lane as they would for other drivers. If a bike lane is available, bicyclists should remain in the lane as long as it is safe to do so.

Bicycles must also ride with the flow of traffic. This means that whatever side of the road a bicyclist is riding, he or she should be traveling in the same direction as the traffic in the closest lane. This helps prevent accidents, particularly from drivers turning onto the street who probably don’t expect to see an oncoming bicycle.

Local ordinances may alter the bike laws in some areas, so bicyclists should be sure they understand their local bicycling laws to avoid accidents and traffic citations. Anyone injured while riding a bicycle, or anyone who sustains injuries or suffers losses due to a negligent bicyclist should reach out to a reliable Bakersfield personal injury lawyer to discuss their options for legal recourse.

Posted by highrank at 8:04 pm