Is there any greater conflict between cyclists and motorists than arguments about stopping? It’s practically a California motto to say, “Cyclists never stop at stop signs!”
But that’s not necessarily true. It’s easy to point out a single cyclist breaking the rules, but extensive road research shows motorists are far more likely than cyclists to violate the rules of the road.
Plus, some traffic studies have found that motorists tend to break the rules to save time, while cyclists tend to break the rules to save lives. In many cases, they’re saving their own lives by bending the rules to stay safe.
This includes choosing how to handle stoplights and stop signs. Cyclists sometimes move through intersections differently than motorists. Here’s why, and what the law says about it.
Coming to a Complete Stop: Still the Law in California
California law requires all motorists and bicyclists to come to a complete stop at stoplights and stop signs. But this could change soon.
A new bill, AB 122 or the Safety Stop Bill, could allow cyclists to use the “stop as yield rule,” which means they can treat stops as yields when it’s safe to proceed through a clear intersection. If this passes, it will become one of our state’s many bike-friendly laws.
AB 122 is currently awaiting full passage in the California Assembly and Senate before it goes to the governor’s desk. Until then, it’s still illegal for anyone – cyclists and motorists alike – to roll through a stoplight or stop sign without fully stopping first.
Of course, this doesn’t stop people from disregarding the law or getting into accidents out of confusion. Bicycle injury cases often arise because a motorist and cyclist have conflicting accounts of what happened in an accident.
Why Bicycle Accidents Happen Near Stoplights
Intersections are some of the most common places bicycle accidents happen because traffic is traveling in perpendicular directions. Intersections are frequently the sites of cyclist injuries and deaths.
It can be difficult for motorists to see cyclists approaching stoplights due to size differences, visual obstructions, and blind corners. Although crosswalks and pedestrian signals are supposed to add safety, they sometimes add confusion because motorists aren’t sure whether cyclists will behave like pedestrians or vehicles.
Plus, motorists usually have their eyes pointed up toward stoplights, not down toward cyclists. This can lead to left and right hook accidents, cyclist dooring accidents, and other bicycle collisions that cause severe injuries.
What if you’re riding your bike as carefully as usual, but a motorist strikes you at a stoplight? In an instant, you could be severely injured and your life could completely change. You may have lost days of work, even as expensive medical bills are piling up!
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help you take legal action and seek compensation. If you’re unsure about the legal issues regarding a specific bicycle or traffic injury, you can request a free legal consultation for more information.
We truly care about protecting California cyclists’ rights! Call 877-380-8852 or get a FREE online case evaluation now.
We Handle Your Accident Claim so You Can Focus on Your Life
After a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including bicycle injuries. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details. We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.