Are You a Bicyclist? Know Your Rights!

If you ride a bicycle regularly to work or school in the United States, you might know that bicyclists have certain responsibilities and rights. Actually, the exact rules differ based on the state you are living in, but there are a few rights that you are entitled to all over the country. In some unfortunate moments, you or someone you know might have been injured while riding a bicycle, and you can click here to learn more about how you can handle the legal matters related to your injuries.

Safety tips for bicyclists:

Although these are general tips, you might overlook them while riding your bicycle. Instead of thinking of these as tips, try to think of them as your responsibilities as a rider:

  • Remember to wear a fitting helmet to ensure your head is safe if you fall or crash into another vehicle.
  • Pay attention to the incoming and outgoing vehicles near you, and check if there are pedestrians beside you to avoid any kind of accident. Try not to pay attention to any distractions on the road.
  • Whenever possible, ride in bike lanes.
  • Regularly check your bicycle and maintain it properly. 

Rights of a bicyclist in the USA:

Every state has different laws with respect to traffic. But a bicyclist has some general rights all over the country. If you regularly use your bicycle to commute, you should know your rights to be on the safe side.

1. Riding on the road 

Bicycle riders can go to work or school on roadways, just like automobiles. Sometimes, they might be prohibited on some freeways or highways. But, other than that, they have the right to occupy a full lane whenever necessary.

2. Right to be visible at night 

Bicyclists should use front and back lights when riding at night for better visibility. The front light should be white, the rear one should be red, and there should be reflectors on the pedals and rear of the bike. Although it is not compulsory, bicyclists can wear reflective clothes while riding at night to be easily visible to other motorists to prevent accidents.

3. Following traffic laws 

Bicyclists should abide by traffic signals and stay within speed limits. They should not ride in the opposite direction of traffic, as it causes confusion for other drivers and increases the probability of an accident. 

4. Right to ride at a safe distance

Drivers need to maintain a safe distance when they are overtaking a bicyclist. This distance is different in various states. But in most states, it is around 3 feet or more. Regardless, it is always safer to maintain as much distance as possible for both the driver and the bicyclist.

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