Vehicle codes enforced by the governing bodies of different states protect everyone who uses the streets. These include drivers of motor vehicles, pedestrians, and even bicyclists. In every state within the country, those who ride bikes enjoy the rights and have the same responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. Both have to coexist on the roadways while sharing the streets with others. Now, pedal bikes are slower vehicles, and they don’t provide adequate protection to the rider. Understandably, you need to follow additional rules. One of the best bicycle accident lawyers will explain those norms to you.
- Following the code: Every adult pedal biker must remember their duties and responsibilities when using the streets. Therefore, they must stop at all signs and red lights, just like every other vehicle.
- Keeping to the right: If you ride your bike as fast as traffic, then you can stay in the traffic lane. However, you will move slower than traffic in most situations. During such a situation, you should ride as close to the right-hand curb or edge of the street as possible. You also need to know that there are a few exceptions to the rule in the Vehicle Code that allows you to acquire the lane. These exceptions include overtaking or passing another biker, preparing to make a left turn, or moving to the other side of the road due to the presence of pedestrians on the right side.
- Riding with traffic: One should always ride in the same direction as traffic. If you have to go in the opposite direction of a one-way road, then walk your bike along the sidewalk.
- Be wary of pedestrians: Pedestrians always use marked crosswalks while crossing a street. However, if someone doesn’t use the crosswalk, then you need to exercise caution as a biker to keep that pedestrian safe.
- The right place to stop: You’re probably aware of the fact that the crosswalk is explicitly for the pedestrians to use. No vehicle, whether it’s a pedal bike or a truck, can stop in or use the crosswalk. When you notice a group of streetwalkers using the crosswalk, simply stop your bike and wait for them to pass.
- The bike lane: If you’re on the street with your bicycle, and if you see a bike lane, then you shouldn’t hesitate to use it. Stay on that lane as long as it’s reasonably safe to do so. You may leave it as soon as you get an appropriate signal. The Vehicle Code mentions several instances when you can abandon the bike lane. These include passing another rider, making a left turn, avoiding pedestrians or cars in the bike lane, and approaching a spot where you can safely make a right turn.
- Helmets: If you’re below 18, then you have to wear an approved helmet while riding. While headgears aren’t mandatory for those who are above 18, it’s always better to wear it than risking your life.
- Lights and reflectors: Your bike should have lights and reflectors on it if you’re planning to use it at night. The light should be powerful enough to be visible from a distance of 300 feet. Apart from that, it should have a red reflector or a red light with an inbuilt reflector that has to be visible from a distance of 500 feet.
A Few Other Rules
The best bicycle accident lawyers suggest following a few more rules. For instance, you can’t wear earplugs or a headset that covers both ears. Furthermore, you must ensure that you use a bike that you can stop and support it in an upright position with at least one foot on the ground.