Bicycle lanes appear to be everywhere, but in SoCal and NorCal they are implemented sporadically at best. A cyclist trying to abide by the traffic laws will often try riding in the bicycle lane to the best of her ability. But there are exceptions to the bicycle lane laws as well. A cyclist knows, probably more than a motor vehicle driver, that road conditions are not perfect in our world of paved roads. That’s because cyclists are looking at the road condition constantly, and are affected by even the smallest surface changes as they travel. The narrow tires make them much more susceptible to road conditions than cars. Thus, when there are obstructions in the bicycle lane or conditions of the bicycle lane are poor, a cyclist may need to exit the bicycle lane after signaling to do so. Then, after being out of the bicycle lane, a cyclist could be hit by a driver who was speeding down the lane next to the bicycle lane, perhaps on their phone. After the collision, the police may come to the scene but determine that the cyclist was to blame because she was not “riding in the bicycle lane when there was one.”
Not so fast. Come talk to us before you think that you have no case. It’s often a fact that the rider exited the bike lane because obstacles, such as parked cars inside the bicycle lane, made it too dangerous to stay there. *
*Our past case result is not a guarantee that your case will also have a successful result.