Q: Do the same laws apply to bicycles as motor vehicles?

The same privileges and laws apply to bicycles as to motor vehicles.A:  The same privileges and laws apply to bicycles and users of skates and skateboards as apply to drivers of motor vehicles. Bicyclists also have the same responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers to follow traffic regulations on the roadways.

The League of American Bicyclists outlines the basic principles behind the bicycle laws in all 50 states:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space, you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic
When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning
Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection positioning
When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings

If you are are injured in a car accident while walking, jogging or riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. Skilled legal representation can help make sure you are compensated to the fullest extent possible, whether you choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit or settle out-of-court. If you are injured in the Capital Region – in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Clifton Park, Saratoga or elsewhere in the Capital District – please call the personal injury lawyers of Lamarche Safranko Law PLLC  for a free consultation.

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