When talking about unicycles, what comes to mind for most people is a clown in a circus riding a one-wheel bike, but there are a variety of types of unicycles. Some are specially designed for mountain or trail riding, while manufacturers of other types of one-wheel bikes have commuters or performers in mind. There are even electric unicycles that can travel at speeds of up to 40 mph.
Legality on California Roadways
The general rule is that riding a one-wheel bike on a California roadway is perfectly legal, but some municipalities might prohibit them at specific locations. The law doesn’t distinguish between unicycles that are powered by pedals or by electricity. If you’re going to ride on a roadway, you’re required to wear a helmet and be at least 16 years old. You must follow the rules of the road along with any special laws for bicyclists, like riding on the right side of the road and yielding to pedestrian traffic.
“Gearing Up” Before Riding
A person who is riding a one-wheel bike presents a small and narrow profile when on or next to a roadway. Some drivers just aren’t going to see them, especially when those drivers are distracted. If a unicyclist falls, the crash can be disastrous. Severe head and neck injuries, fractures, organ damage and joint damage can result. That’s why it’s important for any unicyclist to “gear up” before riding.
Unicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons ranging from negligent drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists to dangerous road defects or even dog attacks. The increasing popularity of electric unicycles for actual transportation purposes will significantly increase the number of accidents and injuries in and around the Bay Area.
Don’t give the opposing insurance company a statement of any kind. You’re not legally required to do so. Contact the Bay Area Bicycle Law office at (415) 466-8717 to arrange for a free consultation and case review. We’re the only law firm in Northern California that focuses its practice on bicycle accident law. We will listen to you carefully and review all of the facts and details of your accident. Afterward, we can advise you on all of your legal options.