Bicycles: Staying Safe and Legal

All drivers at some point share the road with a bicycle. Also, many commuters will find themselves taking a bicycle to their destination. Considering the massive difference in protection between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, this brings up a sensitive issue. In 2014, over 20,000 cyclists were injured or worse in the US. Over 3,500 of those ended fatally or with serious complications. That is why it is important to review and follow state laws referring to bicycles. Whether sharing the road with a cyclist or being one, these rules can help keep everyone safe.

Keeping Everyone Safe

  1. Alabama considers bicycles in the same vein as motor vehicles. This means there are typically no exceptions to the typical rules of the road.
    1. Sidewalks are entirely off-limits to cycling.
    2. Bicycles must stop at all traffic stops, regardless if the signal fails to sense the rider.
    3. All passing must be done on the left if possible.
    4. Texting while operating is not allowed.
    5. Cyclists are prohibited from operating the bike while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  2. There are cases where laws exist specifically for bicycles as well. In these cases, only cyclists are required to follow the guidelines.
    1. All riders and passengers must wear helmets.
    2. Cyclists must ride as close to the right edge of the road as reasonable.
    3. If a parallel bike path is available, bicycles must use that instead of the road.
    4. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles do not need to be registered or otherwise regulated by authorities.

Bicycles, by design, are more versatile and mobile than standard motor vehicles. Often, that leads some to assume certain actions. This could be riding on the sidewalk or even riding past a red light. Or else, this causes drivers to not give the same courtesy given to other vehicles. Tragically, these misunderstandings can lead to traffic accidents. There is no excuse for cyclists and motorists alike to disregard traffic laws. If you or someone you love has suffered an accident from this kind of behavior, make sure to stand up for your rights. Call a lawyer today to ensure you get the justice you deserve.

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