Do Bicyclists Have to Follow the Same Rules and Laws That Drivers Do?

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Bicycles and motor vehicles are different in a lot of ways. Bicycles are smaller modes of transportation that typically operate on pedal power (although some are motorized) and have two wheels. Motor vehicles such as cars and trucks have four wheels and are much bigger and more powerful.

As you ride your bicycle on Texas roadways, you may wonder: Do bike riders have to follow the same rules as motorists? It may surprise you that in Texas, bicycles are treated the same as motor vehicles, and they must follow many of the same laws. Read on to learn more about these laws. Keep in mind that by following the rules, you can avoid citations as well as bicycle accidents.

Rules of the Road

One major law is that bicyclists must travel in the same direction as motor vehicles. They legally cannot ride against traffic. Also, bicyclists should stay as close as possible to the right-hand side of the road as possible unless they are making a left turn.

Bicyclists in Texas must obey all traffic signs and signals. This includes stop signs and red lights. They must also follow laws regarding yielding to the right of way to vehicles and pedestrians.

Two bike riders may ride abreast in the same lane, if they are not impeding traffic, but they are not allowed to ride abreast of a motor vehicle. Bicyclists should use bicycle lanes when available, but they are not legally required to do so. Texas law allows bicyclists to ride on sidewalks, but some major cities do not allow it.

Texas law does not make it illegal for a person to ride a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, if the cyclist causes an accident while under the influence, they could be held liable for damages.

Also, bicyclists need to keep in mind that they have requirements that are unique to them. For example, bike riders must always keep at least one hand on the handlebar, although two hands are preferred. Cyclists should not carry anything while riding. In addition, they should use hand and arm signals to show drivers their intentions.

Note that helmet laws are not universal throughout the state. While Texas does not require helmets for bicyclists, some cities, such as Dallas, do require them for riders under the age of 18. Check your local laws before riding a bicycle.

Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer Today

When bicycle riders understand and follow the rules of the road, they can avoid major accidents. However, a crash can happen in severalways, and sometimes there is no avoiding them.

The Law Office of Joel M. Vecchio, P.C. can help you pursue a claim for compensation after a bicycle accident. Even if you think you might be partially liable, you can still recover compensation based on your degree of fault. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (972) 380-4444.

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