RULES OF THE ROAD
MOTORIST, CYCLIST, & PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
Most states treat bicycles as vehicles for the purpose of traffic laws. Bicyclists must follow all traffic laws that other motorists follow unless following the law is impractical because of the nature of a bicycle.
Bicycle safety requires that bicyclists know and understand traffic laws. Many states have specific traffic laws related to bicycles. Riders should also know and follow these laws.
Who Has the Right of Way?
Bicyclists must yield the right of way under the same conditions as motor vehicles. Therefore, a bicyclist must yield the right of way to pedestrians. They must also stop at stop signs and obey traffic lights.
Riders must signal turns and travel with the flow of traffic. They should also yield the right of way when directed to do so by a yield sign. When entering a lane of traffic, the bicyclist must yield the right of way to oncoming traffic in the lane.
When a bicyclist is traveling in a designated bicycle lane, motorists need to use caution when turning right. If the bicyclist is traveling straight through the intersection, the rider generally has the right of way.
The same applies to a bicyclist traveling through an intersection when a motorist makes a left-hand turn. The bicyclist has the right of way.
However, just because a bicyclist has the right of way, it does not ensure that a motorist will yield the right of way. A motorist may not see a bicycle approaching because the motorist is distracted or the bicycle is in the driver’s blind spot.
Therefore, bicyclists should never assume a motorist will act accordingly and yield the right of way. Bicyclists should take steps to avoid right-of-way accidents whenever possible.