Know Your Rights When Involved In A Bicycle Accident


Often, people deem roadways as the territory of motor vehicles. For this reason, when a cyclist is involved in an accident, people want to point the finger in their direction. However, it is important to remember that bicycle riders have rights too. While the specific laws for riders vary across state lines, some rather standard policies are in place to protect riders.

Road Privilege

Again, people like to think that the roadway is for the sole use of motor vehicles, but in many states, bicycle riders have full road privileges too. In states with this law, cyclists cannot be blamed for an accident solely because they were traveling in the same lane as a vehicle, not along the shoulder.

Instead, all operators on the road must check their surroundings to ensure they are well aware of who is nearby. A vehicle driver who tries to escape liability for a collision with a cyclist because they claimed they did not know the bike was on the road, is a baseless defense.

Intersection Safety

Another common law meant to protect cyclists involves intersection safety. When a bicycle approaches the intersection, such as at a stoplight, the cyclist can pull to the front of the line. One reason for this safety measure is that it might be possible for a bicycle presence to be concealed by large vehicles on the road.

Pulling to the front gives the drivers a clear view of the bicycle. Again, the motor vehicle operator must inspect their surroundings before taking off. If a driver slams into a cyclist at the front of the intersection because they are not paying attention, the cyclist will likely have a legal right to file a compensation claim.

Passing Guidelines

Basic driving instructions include requiring all vehicles to pass on the left, but bicycles have some flexibility. A cyclist can also pass on the right, as it is often deemed a safer option. Since the right is closest to the shoulder and a lane in which traffic moves slower, passing on the right is advised.

Similar to roadway privileges, drivers are expected to look to the left and right before turning to ensure another vehicle or bicycle is not in their path. If drivers turn to the right without ensuring the road is clear, they could be held liable.

If you are involved in an accident while riding your bike, speak with a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your rights. 

 For more info, contact a local firm like Wingfield, Ginsburg & Lipp, PC.


22 May 2023

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