What Rights Do Cyclists Have on the Road?
Sharing the road with other motorists when you are riding on two wheels is a bit risky. There are already a lot of debates and discussion as to what rights cyclist have on the road.
It is important for both cyclists and motorists to understand the laws that govern their chosen mode of transport. Here are some of these recognized rights.
Bicycles Belong on the Road
Selfish motorists think that bicycles do not belong on the road and that they should be restricted to sidewalks. That is wrong. Cyclists are considered drivers and they have the same rights as other motorists.
Cycling on sidewalks is dangerous not only to the cyclists but also to pedestrians. Often, it is often considered illegal. However, there are limited access highways like freeways where bicycles are not allowed – unless there are no alternative roads.
Ride on the Right
Just like any other driver in the U.S., cyclists must drive on the right-hand side. There are laws that require cyclists to remain as close to the edge of the road as practicable following the direction of traffic. The slowest vehicles on the road should be the farthest to the right. However, cyclists can share the same lane with other motor vehicles if it is wide enough to share.
It is also important to know your lanes. For extra-wide lanes, you do not need to ride all the way at the right edge. Ride in a straight line about 3 to 4 feet to the right of cars. For narrow lanes, you can ride near the right edge but if it’s a multilane road with narrow lanes, ride in the middle of the right lane.
Right of Way and Safe Passing
Every motorist on the road is entitled to a lane width that their vehicle requires – space on each side, behind, and in the front. If a space is being used, you must yield to whoever is currently occupying it. You must also yield to crossing traffic if you do not have the right of way when you are in an intersection.
It is likewise important to yield to traffic if you are changing lanes. The law says that all drivers must pass at a safe distance. When you are riding on a lane that is not wide enough to share, move to the middle of the lane so that motorists can use the next lane to pass or you wait until it safe to pass.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Should You Get in an Accident
There have been a lot of accidents involving cyclists and other motorists not because they are unruly drivers but because they do not know the rights of cyclists on the road. Every motorist has the right to be on the road and should be treated as equals. If you find yourself in a situation where your rights as a cyclist are violated, you should not be scared to take legal action.
Getting the help of a personal injury attorney will not only protect your rights as a person. It will l also champion the rights of all cyclists who are not treated fairly on the road. Schedule an appointment today with Matt Fleming Law.