Ah, Christmas day. There are so many familiar and wonderful sensations that fill the home on that special day of the year: the sight of the tree glowing with lights and surrounded by gifts, both wrapped and unwrapped; the children, filled with the magic of Christmas, giggling and playing with new toys; the sounds of loved ones chatting, laughing, sipping coffee and taking pictures that will be fondly remembered in years to come; the smell of freshly-baked pumpkin bread or the rich scent of casseroles baking for the dinner that awaits.
But for you, the sensation that cuts through all others is the smell of the virgin rubber on the tires of the new mountain bike that Santa Claus brought for you, with its clean, light aluminum glistening like tinsel. The smooth Shimano components whisper to you from the other room, saying, “I’m agile, strong, and ready to ride.”
Now is the moment. Everyone is distracted, swept up in the holiday spirit. You slip into the kitchen, perhaps, on the way, you grab a couple of empty boxes that need to go to the recycle bin “right now.” The coast is clear. You slip out the door into the garage and saddle up on your new bike, completely unaware that you’re still in your jammies and slippers. You open the garage door, and roll out for that first magnificent ride on your—
Wait. Stop right there. Here are some things you should know about San Diego bicycle law before you set out on your beloved new toy.
WEAR A HELMET – This is the number one rule of bicycling. If you are unfortunate enough to be in an accident without a helmet on, serious, life-altering injuries can occur. Yes, the helmet might mess up your hair, but not wearing it could mess up your life. Also, if you’re under 18, a police can give you a ticket if you’re riding a bike without a helmet.
THINK LIKE YOU’RE DRIVING A CAR – Would you dart through an intersection in your car? Would you choose to ignore stop signs and traffic lights in your car? Would you drive your car on the wrong side of the road? You should keep in mind the rules of the road when you operate your bicycle – they apply to all vehicles.
RIDE THE SIDEWALK? – In general, it’s safe to assume that riding on the sidewalk is prohibited, however there are no statewide laws regarding bikes and sidewalks. Before you head out through the neighborhood, check the local laws regarding this which differ from municipality to municipality.
As always, injuries can occur. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s imperative that you seek legal assistance immediately. At the Jurewitz Law Group, we’re experienced in navigating the complex avenues of San Diego bicycle law. Call us at (619) 233-5020 or Toll Free (888) 233-5020 for a free consultation.
Ross Jurewitz is the founder and managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego personal injury attorney law firm. These San Diego injury accident lawyers specialize in helping people seriously injured in a variety of accidents throughout San Diego County and California.
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