When riding your bike, you may have a bike lane along the right-hand side of the road. Many rural roads also have a small strip of pavement next to the shoulder. It may only be a few inches wide, but cars are supposed to stay to your left and you can ride on this pavement with less worry.
California also has some separated bikeways, which are blocked from traffic, and they may have posts or other obstacles to keep cars away. Generally, though, your bike lane is just a line on the pavement between you and the cars traveling along that same road.
Riding with the risks to cyclists in mind
It’s important to remember that the lane itself offers you no real protection. A distracted driver can easily drift right over that line and onto the shoulder. Many drivers who turn right decide to merge right through the bike lanes without even checking to see if anyone is riding there.
This isn’t to say that bike lanes aren’t helpful. It’s just that people who want to increase safety for cyclists often say that expanding bike lanes is necessary. It can help and cyclists do need more dedicated lanes, but simply getting those painted lines on the road doesn’t mean accidents are going to stop. Many cyclists are injured and killed every year while riding in these lanes, where they should be safe.
Have you been in a bicycle accident?
If you get involved in an accident while riding your bike, you could suffer serious injuries. You need to know how to seek compensation from the driver who caused that crash. An attorney can help advocate for fair compensation and protect your interests against the insurance company involved.