Bicycle laws guide the bikers on moving on highways, in streets, and in places with high traffic. The bicycle laws differ from one state to another and limit the roads one should cycle, and the protective clothing one should wear when cycling. If you are a regular cyclist, it’s essential to follow these laws, which will enable you to be safe and secure your chances of surviving if you face an accident. The laws will also enable you to get full compensation in case of an accident and prevents other parties from taking advantage of you. Which are the laws? Here is the list.
1. Use Hand Signals
Most bicycles are manual and don’t have any electric feature to alert other road users. This situation has made most states put it into law that all cyclists use hand signals to alert other road users. It would help if you always signaled through a set gesture when you want to stop, turn left or right, and change lanes so the incoming traffic can notice your intentions. According to these bicycle accident attorneys, failing to use the signals as required may weaken your compensation case and make an insurance company never compensate you. If you use the hand signal and the traffic behind you fails to stop and causes an accident, you might sue for damages and injuries resulting from the accident.
2. Yield Before Turning Or Changing Lanes
The laws require any cyclist to yield to approaching traffic before changing lanes or when they want to avoid an obstacle on their lane. It would help yield to such vehicles since you might not judge their speeds, thus avoiding collisions. Such should also be done when diverting to a different road or gaining entry to the main road. You must also try as much to stand in a straight line while waiting for the vehicle to pass before changing lanes when everything is clear. Not being on a straight line might lead to a crash by the tip of your cycle or have your two-wheeler crushed by the coming traffic.
3. Obey The Traffic Signs And Signals
While on the road, you must obey all the traffic rules and signals, just like the other road users. Most bikers think they are exempt from following traffic rules, which is not valid. If the traffic light signals are stopping, you have to stop, and so on. This helps to keep the road clear for other traffic released by the lights. It would be best to observe pedestrian crossing, bumps ahead notice, stop, speed warnings, intersection warnings, and give way to essential vehicles as required by law. Remember that the law judges you just like the regular drivers; thus, you must follow the set rules and regulations.
4. Do Not Ride On Sidewalks
Sidewalks are meant for pedestrians unless authorized. Riding your bike on the sidewalk endangers pedestrian safety, and you can get booked for such an offense. It can also lead to jail or fines, especially if you hurt someone on the pedestrian lane. At all costs, never ride on the pedestrian lane, although some states allow individuals to push their bikes on such lanes. Riding your bike on pedestrian walks also makes you invisible to drivers on the road, and the sudden divert to the road might lead to a horrific accident.
5. Ride As Per The Traffic Flow
Even if you are riding at the main road’s sides, you must adhere to the traffic flow. Never ride to the west when the traffic is heading to the east as it will be a significant offense. If living in the United States, you already understand that traffic flows right and keeps right as much as possible. You should do so unless overtaking a stationary or slow vehicle and only if allowed. Riding in the opposite direction might lead to a head-on collision with oncoming traffic, which leads to a fatal accident.
6. Wear The Protective Gear
At all times, you should wear protective gear while on the road. Why is it necessary? It helps protect you when riding and when an accident occurs to reduce physical trauma. Some of the recommended protective gear includes reflectors, helmets, lights, high visibility clothing, and have helmet mirrors.
Different laws vary with states. Besides the above riding laws, there are also helmet laws, safe passing laws, bicycle lane laws, and others to safeguard you while on the road. It would help to have a competent lawyer on speed dial to guide you on this and call them in case of an accident to guide you on the compensation process. It is also essential to check with your state for any additional laws concerning bike riding.