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Bicyclists in California may use the public streets the same way cars do, as long as they follow all the rules of the road – including the rule to travel on the right side of the road. Riding on the right is not only the law, but it is also the safe way to ride. When you ride on the left, an accident is more likely to occur and can result in serious injuries.

While a San Jose bicycle accident lawyer can help you protect your rights after an accident, you can also protect yourself by avoiding behaviors that increase the risk of an accident occurring, such as riding on the left.

Here are several reasons you should always ride your bicycle on the right-hand side of the street:

  • Cars that are pulling out of driveways, parking lots, and cross streets aren’t expecting traffic coming from the wrong direction – and that includes bicycles. They are more likely to pull directly into your path or to crash into you if you ride on the left.
  • When you ride toward oncoming traffic, the force of any resulting head-on collision is greater because the speed at which you’re traveling and the speed at which the oncoming vehicle is traveling both contribute to the force of the crash.
  • Riding on the left reduces the time drivers have to react once they see you, increasing the chances that either the driver or you will be unable to slow down, stop, or swerve in time to avoid an accident.
  • Riding on the left prevents you from making turns according to the rules of the road, putting you in violation not only of the rule about riding on the right but also the rules about making turns, increasing your chances of receiving a ticket.

Although only about eight percent of bicyclists ride on the left, about 25 percent of accidents involve cyclists riding the wrong way. Don’t become a statistic; stay on the right.