What Are Your Rights as a Cyclist?

Some states have them written down, other states don’t. However, if you are a cyclist, you have certain rights to ride your bicycle. It is not illegal unless otherwise posted and drivers have to respect your right to do it. So if you have certain rights, what are they?

The rights of a cyclist include:

  • The right to ride on any public street except limited access expressways and areas where signs prohibit bicyclists.
  • The right to use either hand in order to signal a stop or turn to nearby vehicles.
  • The right to ride on the right side of motor vehicles in the travel lane.
  • Cyclists may be able to ride their bicycle on sidewalks, but only if the area is a non-commercial district and doesn’t have posted signs prohibiting it.
  • Cyclists have the right to ride two abreast in a lane so long as there is more than two lanes of travel in the same direction.

Unfortunately, while all those are well within a cyclist’s rights, it doesn’t always mean that it is safe to exercise those rights. The problem is that while cyclists may know their rights, many driver’s do not. This means that driver’s may take unnecessary risks in order to go around slower cyclists, even though they are well within their rights to ride there. This is how accidents happen.

While cyclists shouldn’t have to make compromises, they may need to in order to stay safe. If you were exercising your rights and got into an accident with a vehicle, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin is dedicated to representing the rights of injured cyclists.

Michigan Roads Potentially Made Safer for Cyclists By New 5-Foot Buffer Rule

If you are cycling the road in Michigan this year, your ride could become significantly safer than it has been. Well, at least if a potential bill gets made into law. This new bill is currently in legislature which would require drivers to give more breathing room to cyclists as well as adding enhanced safety instructions for handling cyclists being included in state driver’s education courses.

The guidelines in question would require drivers to give Michigan road cyclists a set 5-foot buffer when passing them on roads that do not have a set bicycle lane. Currently, the state has no set mandate on how far vehicles needs to be when passing a cyclist. Most people go with the good rule of thumb of “not hitting the cyclist” when passing, but this leads to a number of close calls and terrifying accidents.

Like in most states, these close calls and contentious relationship between cyclists and drivers comes from a lack of knowledge on how to handle road cyclists. By making a five-foot mandatory buffer, it will allow more drivers to know that they can’t pass a cyclist unless they can do it safely. Ultimately, this teaches them that it is not the cyclists’ responsibility to “move over.”

Going a step further, if this buffer is made into law, then it will be taught in driver’s education courses and drivers caught breaking the law may be forced to attend education courses to rectify their mistake.

While this law will cut down on cycling accidents, it likely won’t stop them altogether. However, there are still people out there that represent the rights of cyclists. If you have been in a cycling accident and need legal advice, contact us today.

Why Are There So Many Cycling Accidents in San Francisco’s Castro Neighborhood?

For those who live along 17th Street in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, they are more than familiar with the area’s long history with cycling accidents. Almost every week there is an accident involving a cyclist and a vehicle, and now as the city is finally looking into the concentration, it leaves people asking the same question – why are there so many bicycling accidents here?

For the residents, many of whom have multiple cycling accidents caught on tape, they all know the problem, or rather, problems. There are two rampant problems along 17th Street in Castro that cause cycling accidents. The first is double parking and the second is the Muni train tracks. The train tracks cause bicycle tires to get stuck and cyclists to fall face first onto the concrete while the double parking of cars force cyclists to swerve dangerously close to traffic.

Residents state that it is the double parking that is the greatest danger, and if the city can solve that problem it would greatly reduce cycling accidents. However, other improvements have included removing the train tracks, making the street one way, and removing the parking in order to better protect the bike path.

While the city is still weighing the options for the area, this one street in San Francisco is far from the only area in the United States that is a problem for cyclists. If you have been in a cycling accident and need representation, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin represents the rights of injured cyclist.

How to Deal with Fear After a Bicycling Accident

If you have never been in a bicycling accident, then you don’t understand that there are things that are much more jarring than the injuries suffered. Accidents of any kind can be traumatic incidents, and afterwards there is a certain amount of fear when returning to normal activities. While injuries can heal, the mental scars will still linger. So if you have been in an accident and are finding it hard to get back on a bike again, what can you do about it?

The first step is to remember how many times you have ridden a bike before without incident. Think about all the times you successfully got to your destination without getting hit by a car or having another accident. Once you have been in an accident, it tends to stick in your mind and prevents you from remembering all the good times.

Try remembering the reasons why you loved riding a bicycle in the past like the wind blowing over your face when riding down a big hill or the satisfaction of completing a tough route. This will help diffuse the toxicity that has accumulated with the thought of the activity in your brain.

Finally, instead of worrying about all the bad things that could happen, try instead focusing on all the ways you can stay safe. Focus on placing the weight on your bicycle, your feet on the pedals, and look forward to assess any dangers. However, don’t get caught up in just the dangers, remember to think positively and have fun.

If you have been in an accident, seeking out justice can also be a powerful way to put fears to rest. Contact us today to see what options you have available.

California Law Bans Headphones for Cyclists

If you are a cyclist cruising down your regular cycling strip to work in California with your headphones on and your favorite songs blaring through them, as of the first of the year, you have officially been breaking the law. Unaware cyclists are already finding punishment over this new law that some call overbearing.

According to the Section 27400 of the California Vehicle Code, cyclists are now prohibited from wearing a headset, earplugs, or earphones in both ears, something that many cyclists do to drown out street noise. However, as many have already found out, breaking this new law will net a fairly hefty $178 fine.

While many are outraged at such prosecution of a victimless crime, there are other cyclists that realize there are victims of wearing headphones. The victim’s are the cyclists themselves. So long as they are mindful, a cyclist listening to music probably won’t end up hurting anyone. However, that also means they won’t hear any vehicles coming up behind them. This puts them in grave danger of not being able to react to a negligent motorist. Of course, there would be no need for such laws if motorists were better trained to share the road and more bicycle lanes were installed throughout major cities.

While there won’t be much fighting these fines, if you are a cyclist that has been in a cycling accident due to the negligence of those who need to share the road with you, contact us today. The Law Office of Gary Brustin fights for cyclists and their right for their share of the road.