Understanding Your Rights As A Cyclist

bicycle accident lawyer

By Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.Article

Cycling is an excellent way to stay fit, reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy the outdoors. However, sharing the road with motor vehicles can present significant risks. It’s crucial for cyclists to be aware of their rights and take proactive steps to protect themselves while riding. Understanding your rights and responsibilities can help ensure your safety and make your rides more enjoyable as a bicycle accident lawyer will share:

Know The Traffic Laws

Cyclists are subject to the same traffic laws as motorists. This means stopping at red lights and stop signs, signaling turns, and following the flow of traffic. Familiarize yourself with the specific cycling laws in your area, as they can vary. For example, some states require cyclists to ride as far to the right as possible, while others allow cyclists to take the full lane if necessary for safety.

By understanding and adhering to these laws, you not only protect yourself but also strengthen your position if a legal issue arises. Remember that being a responsible cyclist means being a predictable part of traffic, which helps prevent accidents. Additionally, different rules apply to the way in which you ride; if you are riding on the sidewalk as a pedestrian, you can use crosswalks, but on the road you must adhere to the same laws as cars.

Wear Protective Gear

Wearing a helmet is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect yourself on the road. Helmets significantly reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of a crash. Additionally, wearing bright and reflective clothing can increase your visibility to drivers, especially during low-light conditions.

Invest in proper lighting for your bicycle, including front and rear lights, and use them when riding at night or in poor visibility. These measures not only enhance your safety but also comply with legal requirements in many areas.

Ride Defensively

Defensive riding involves being aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards. Keep an eye on parked cars for doors that might suddenly open, watch for pedestrians stepping into the street, and be cautious at intersections.

Make eye contact with drivers when possible to ensure they see you, and always assume that they may not. Use hand signals to communicate your intentions clearly, and avoid riding in blind spots where drivers may not notice you. It is also good to be vocal/make noise so they also have a better chance of seeing you.

Document Your Rides

In the unfortunate event of an accident, having documentation can be invaluable. Consider using a helmet-mounted or bike-mounted camera to record your rides. This footage can provide clear evidence of what happened in an accident, which can be crucial for legal proceedings.

Keep a record of your cycling activities, including routes, times, and any incidents or near-misses. This information can help in identifying hazardous areas and may also be useful if you need to file a claim.

Know What To Do After An Accident

If you are involved in an accident, your immediate priority is your safety. Move out of the road if you can and check for injuries. Call emergency services if necessary. It’s important to gather as much information as possible at the scene, including:

  • The driver’s contact and insurance information
  • Contact information for any witnesses
  • Photos of the accident scene, your bike, and any injuries

Seek medical attention even if you think your injuries are minor. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and having a medical record can be important for any legal claims.

Seek Legal Advice

After an accident, consulting with a legal professional can help you understand your options and rights. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process of filing a claim and seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. 

Attorneys like those at The Andres Lopez Law Firm can attest to the importance of having knowledgeable legal support. They can help you navigate the complexities of your case and ensure that your rights are protected.

Protecting your rights as a cyclist involves being informed, prepared, and proactive. By taking these steps, you can enjoy your rides with greater peace of mind and confidence. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact a lawyer near you for help.

Previous Post Next Post