Know Your Rights as a Cyclist

know your rights

Have you recently taken up cycling? With gyms all over the country closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people have had to find other ways to exercise, and for those who love the great outdoors, cycling has become increasingly popular.

It’s a low-impact form of exercise that also allows you to go much further than running, but it doesn’t come without its dangers—around 2% of all road traffic deaths each year are cyclists.

It’s important to know your rights as a cyclist so that in the unfortunate case of an accident, you’re able to understand who was in the wrong. Keep reading to learn what your rights are!

Cycling in Traffic

Drivers often seem to have a predisposed dislike for cyclists, but cyclists have just as much right to be on the road as motor vehicles. A small number of cyclists may take advantage of this fact and intentionally get in the way of other cars.

Because cyclists are required to obey the same laws as motorists, this could fall under the same law as dangerous driving, or driving without due care and attention, so it’s important to be vigilant while riding a bike, for your safety and for those around you.

Riding a bicycle on roads is dangerous, and being the victim of a hit and run bike accident can be incredibly scary, so do stay close to the curb and keep your wits about you.

Cycling With Passengers

This may sound like a strange and unlikely thing to cover, but many cyclists enjoy taking a child with them, and you have a right to do so as long as you obey the laws – the child must have either a designated seat on the bike or an attached child seat.

When you’re cycling on the road, you are not allowed to:

  • Have a passenger riding on the handlebars
  • Have a passenger riding in an attachment such as a trailer
  • Have a passenger riding on the back pegs of the bike

The child must be securely fastened and wearing a helmet for maximum protection in the case of a bicycle accident.

Cycling on Cycle Paths and Sidewalks

Cycling on sidewalks is not permitted in many states unless it is marked specifically, while in other states it is permitted unless it is marked otherwise, so it’s important to read up your state laws to find out your rights.

The most important thing to be aware of when cycling on a sidewalk is pedestrians. You should have a bell in order to alert pedestrians when you are nearby and preparing to pass them.

Know Your Rights When Cycling

Whether you’re cycling on the road, the sidewalk, or a path, it’s important to know your rights not just to abide by the law but for your safety.

Cycling is a brilliant way to exercise and is lots of fun, but it’s also potentially very dangerous, especially if you are careless, so make sure to be aware of what is going on around you.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the lifestyle section of the blog for more like it.