Bicycling is a healthy, fun, and affordable means of transportation and recreational activity, but it also requires riders to share the road with multi-ton vehicles. Because riders only have their clothes and a helmet—if they're wearing one—to protect them in an accident, they can suffer catastrophic injuries or death.
However, you can keep you and your family safer by following Pennsylvania’s traffic rules governing bicyclists.
Follow These Pennsylvania Traffic Rules to Prevent a Bicycle Accident
In Pennsylvania, bicycles—also referred to as “pedalcycles”—are considered vehicles, and riders are required to follow specific traffic rules. Like motor vehicle traffic laws, these rules are designed to prevent accidents. They include:
- Wear a helmet. Anyone under the age of 12 is required to wear a helmet when on a bike as a rider or passenger.
- Ride on the shoulder. Bikers are permitted, but not required, to ride on the shoulder of the road as long as they're going in the same direction as the flow of traffic.
- Ride in the right lane. Bicyclists are allowed to ride in the right-most lane of multi-lane roads; in the right lane of a two-lane road, and anywhere on the right side of the road where there's no center line. A bicyclist can move out of the right lane to pass a vehicle, to turn left, or to avoid an obstacle.
- Don't ride on the freeway. Bicycles are prohibited on highways.
- Have proper lights. Cyclists are required to outfit their bikes with an active front white light and rear reflector visible from 500 feet away. These lights are essential for enabling riders to be seen at night.
- Follow right-of-way laws. Like motorists, bike riders are required to follow right-of-way traffic laws. This includes yielding to pedestrians.
- Obey traffic signals. Bicyclists are required to abide by all traffic signal laws.
- Use a signal. Bicycle riders must follow prescribed hand signaling rules when making a right turn, left turn, and slowing to stop.
- Don't ride intoxicated. It's illegal to ride a bicycle while intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use. In addition, riding when intoxicated significantly increases the likelihood that you would be injured or killed in a collision.
Even when you follow these traffic laws, a negligent driver could cause you to suffer serious injuries in a bicycle accident. If you file your claim for compensation with his insurance company, the adjuster may try to imply that you failed to follow these important rules in an effort to deny or reduce your claim. However, experienced bicycle accident attorneys can help you refute this accusation and hold the driver accountable.
Contact Our Office for Help With Your Bicycle Accident Claim
Do you need to file a claim with a negligent driver’s insurance company after a bicycle accident? To learn more about your legal options and how we can help fight for the compensation you deserve, call our office to schedule a free consultation.