Spring, summer, and fall are all great seasons for bicycle riding. A bicycle has as much right to the road as a motor vehicle. But, bicyclists must follow “side-of-the-road” rules.
Basically, these rules require the cyclist to stay on the far-right side of the road, or in a bike lane. These rules create some needed predictability, and enable cars and bikes to share the road. However, there are still risks to bike riders.
Rules of the Road
There are exceptions to the “side-of-the-road” rules. On a one-way street, for example, the cyclist can choose to stay either on the far-right or the far-left side of the road.
When there is a bike lane, the cyclist is required to use it, even if it is not on the far-right. Also, if the cyclist is moving as fast as the surrounding traffic, they are not required to stay to the far-right.
For bike riders following the “side-of-the-road” rules, three types of traffic accidents are the most frequent. They are:
- Hitting the door of a parked car as it opens
- Being brushed by a passing car
- Being hit by a vehicle turning right
Drivers must maintain a safe space when passing a cyclist. Also, a driver may not pass the cyclist until it is safe to do so. Sometimes, this means slowing down and waiting until road conditions allow enough space to pass.
When Accidents Happen – Who is at Fault?
Accidents involving a bicycle and car, truck, or other vehicle are evaluated to determine who is liable, based on the circumstances of the accident. When a cyclist is hit by an opening car door, for example, a person in a parked car should have only opened the door when it was reasonably safe to do so. These accidents are usually found to be the fault of the person in the car.
If a rider is brushed by a passing car, then the circumstances of the accident need to be examined. Was the cyclist riding too far to the left? If so, the accident could be their fault. Was the driver passing when it was not safe to do so? If so, the accident is likely the driver’s fault. It may be necessary to determine the widths of the lane, car, and bicycle, to determine whether there was enough space for the vehicle to pass safely.
A car turning right always passes through the path of the cyclist. Sometimes an accident happens because after passing a cyclist, the driver slows down to turn right and gets into the path of the cyclist – who is then left with nowhere to go. At times, a driver simply turns right without seeing the cyclist. Since a driver must turn only when it is safe to do so, these accidents are the fault of the driver.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Assist Individuals Injured in Car Accidents
Bicycle accidents can result in serious injury or even death. If you or someone you know have been involved in a car and bicycle accident, make sure you have an experienced Delaware car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC to help determine liability and recover damages. Call us today at 302-888-1221 to schedule your confidential initial consultation at or contact us online.
With offices throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.