As gas prices continue to rise and Americans try to shed the weight of our overweight reputation, bikers are becoming more and more common on the roads. Exercise is great, but many American roads are not designed with bike lanes and some places don’t have a sidewalk or the sidewalk is so crowded, bicyclists are forced to ride in the streets with automobiles. As bicyclists get pushed out onto the road, they must learn the rules of the road to keep themselves and everyone around them safe.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration posted the bicycle rules of the road for all bikers to see for safety. Usually, bicycles are considered vehicles, and riders must follow the same rules as car drivers and have the same rights as well.
If you are riding your bike on the road, be sure to follow these rules to keep yourself safe.
- Follow vehicular traffic. Ride on the right side of the street with the cars and travel in the same direction.
- Be aware of parked vehicles. Do not ride too close to parked cars in case they suddenly begin to drive on the road and do not see you or if a door opens.
- Always obey traffic laws. Even though you are not in a car, you must behave as a driver on the roads and obey all traffic signals, signs and lanes on the road.
- Yield to other traffic when appropriate. Typically, the rule is that drivers on smaller roads must yield to those on bigger, busier and wider streets. Traffic signs usually signal this, but on sidewalks, the end of bike paths, side streets and neighborhood streets, you must yield to crossing traffic. As a bicyclist, you also have to yield to pedestrians.
- Always pay attention. Always be on the lookout for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, sewer, railway, dogs and anything else that might cause you to crash. Always be sure that you can hear the traffic around you by not wearing headphones.
- Be predictable to other vehicles. Ride in a straight line and avoid zig-zagging through vehicles. Also signal to cars when you plan to move, such as lane changes and turns.
- Look ahead before changing direction. Make sure there are no cars coming behind you that may hit you when you slow down to turn and be sure that there are no cars ahead of you that may be in your way to turn or may be in your path.
If you have found yourself in a bicycle accident, contact a personal injury attorney for assistance with your case in DuPage, Cook, Kane and Will Counties. Martoccio & Martoccio attorneys will assist you in court today.