With good weather, come bicyclists sharing the road. Even as the summer months come to a close, cycling still provides a sensible alternative for exercise, recreation or travel, but cycling can also bring with it the risk of injury. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cyclists face a higher risk of injury and death than occupants of motor vehicles. It is important to know which laws bicyclists are required to follow, what laws they are protected by and most importantly, the defenses cyclists have when injured while following the law.
Cyclists are considered vehicle operators so they are required by law to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators. For example, they must obey all traffic signs, signals, lane markings, follow right-of-way laws and must ride in the same direction as traffic. Cyclists have to follow traffic laws, but there are also laws that protect cyclists including the Safe Passing law which requires motor vehicles to leave at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a cyclist; the Share the Road law which allows cyclists to purchase license plates which promote a “Same Rights, Same Rules” message; the Vulnerable Road User law which protects cyclists by prohibiting motor vehicles from recklessly driving close to, toward or near a cyclist; the Distracted Driving law which prohibit individuals from using electronic communication devices while operating motor vehicles; and the Dooring law which states that a person operating a motor vehicle cannot open a vehicle’s door until all cyclists have passed and cannot leave a vehicle door open for more time than is required to load and unload passengers of a vehicle.
Even when cyclists observe these guidelines and protections offered by law, injuries can still occur. Fortunately, there are defenses that cyclists can seek as remedies when injured while riding, and if you find yourself in a situation or have any specific legal problems, issues, or questions, seek a complete review of your situation with a licensed lawyer.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Edward P. Graham, Ltd. have over twenty-five years’ experience in representing clients in the practice of personal injury. If you, a family member, or a friend could benefit from our experience, please contact us at (630)357-2333 or visit our website at http://www.graham-law.com for more information.