Cycling Safety

Obey all traffic lawsstopturn rightturn left

According to the California Vehicle Code, every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all of the rights and responsibilities of the driver of a motor vehicle. On campus traffic regulations are strictly enforced. You may be cited for running stop signs, riding at an unsafe speed for conditions, riding on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks, wearing headphones while riding, not having legal brakes, etc. Cyclists are required by state law to use front white lights, rear red reflectors, pedal and side reflectors at night. Additional lights - especially rear red flashers, reflectors, and light colored clothing are a good idea.

helmetBuy and wear a helmet

They can greatly reduce the risk of head injury or death. Don't "hit the road" without one. But remember: even the best helmet has limitations and they don't prevent crashes. Defensive cycling is the key to bike safety.

Know your roundabout

One of the more prominent features of the campus cycling environment is the traffic circle or roundabout. There are over a dozen such intersections around the campus and several in the city. Some are at the junctions of roadways, others at bike path crossings, and some where bike paths meet roads.

There are two important rules to remember when approaching a traffic circle: Always ride counterclockwise through the circle, and always yield right-of-way to any bike or vehicle already in the circle. Signaling your turns is especially helpful in circles, and be sure to watch out for others and adjust your speed or turns accordingly. Not everyone will necessarily understand or obey these right-of-way or yield rules, so ride defensively!

UC Davis TAPS BEEP Video

→ Learn more about the Rules of the Road with this summary of the California Vehicle Code and UC Davis Traffic & Parking Code laws and regulations for bicyclists. 

A bicycle friendly community, "The Davis Model" is a paper presented by David Takemoto-Weerts.

Safety tips

Ride to the right of faster traffic in a straight line about a car door's width away from the parked cars.

don't weave between parked cars
Don't weave between parked cars

Don't ride to the curb between parked cars. Motorists may not see you when you try to move back into traffic.




follow lane markings
Follow lane markings

Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked "right turn only"; stay to the left of the right turn only lane if you are going straight.


turning left

There are two ways to make a left turn.

  1. Like a motorist: Signal move into the left lane, and turn left. In a left turn only lane, stay to the right of the lane to allow any motorists behind to make their turn on your left.
  2. Like a pedestrian: Ride straight across to the far-side crosswalk, dismount, and walk your bike across.