Personal Injury Lawyer
When sharing roads with taxicabs, cars, buses and trains, commercial trucks, bicycles, and motorcycles, everyone who is controlling one of these vehicles is responsible for driving carefully and ensuring the safety of others. The duty of care for which each vehicle is responsible depends largely on the type of vehicle, whether the vehicle is privately or publicly owned, and the type and amount of damage that can be caused.
Bicycles and motorcycles are on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to the responsibility to others while being operated on city streets. Though their duty to others is lower than that of cars, buses, trains, and trucks, municipalities still have significant traffic rules and regulations that bicyclists and motorcyclists must obey in order for them to operate safely.
Each year, there are almost 50,000 bike accidents each year across the country. Approximately 1,000 victims of bike crashes do not survive their injuries. Just like motorists, people who ride bikes are required to follow the rules of the road. Although all states and municipalities determine their own traffic laws, bike laws generally follow these rules:
- Bikes are restricted from using sidewalks unless otherwise authorized (like bike paths) or the rider is 12 years or younger
- Bikes are restricted from being used on highways, interstate routes, bridges, or expressways unless otherwise permitted by signs
- A bicyclist while on his/her bike may not use more than one earphone that is connected to a radio, cell phone, or other audio devices
- At least one hand must be on the handlebars at all times, including when the bicyclist is carrying a package
- Bicyclists must use hand signals before they can turn left or right
- Bicyclists must wear a headlight and red taillight from sunset until sunrise, and their bikes must be equipped with bells, working breaks, and reflective devices on or around the tires
- Helmets are required for children until they are 14 years old and commercial bicyclists are required to wear a helmet provided for them by their company
- All bicyclists are required to report to law enforcement any accident that has occurred if death or injury to a person or damage to property resulted
Any bicyclist found in violation of any of traffic laws may be subject to fines and citations, as well as possible personal injury suits brought against them as a result of any negligence or disobedience of the traffic rules and regulations. The traffic rules and regulations were created primarily to protect bicyclists as they are in a more precarious situation than motor vehicles; however, bicyclists owe a duty of care to anyone with whom they share the road, whether pedestrians, motor vehicles, buses, or other vehicles.
Let a Bike Accident Attorney Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, contact a top rated bicycle accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT to see how they can help and discuss what legal options you may have.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and a bicyclist’s responsibilities.