As a regular cyclist, you may have noticed that cars do not always afford you the consideration that you deserve. Unfortunately, many Kentucky drivers infringe on bike lanes, cut off bikers to make turns or fail to respect their space. However, you are awarded the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles on the road, with a few notable exceptions. Do you know your rights as a biker?
You have a right to consideration
Just as drivers have a responsibility to share the road with other motorists, they have a responsibility to share the road with bikers. They are required to share road lanes, unless a designated bike lane is available. In that case, the biker must remain in the bike lane, but the motorist must still take reasonable care to protect their safety.
Bikers have a responsibility to protect themselves
While motorists should do their best to protect your safety, you must act as your own advocate. In some cases, safety is required by law. Some safety laws include:
- Using a front bike light as well as a red rear light at night
- Placing a red reflector on the back of the bike or biker when riding on the shoulder of a highway
- Using a bell or yelling to pedestrians and other bikers when passing
Additionally, it is widely recognized that bright, reflective clothing makes it easier for motorists to spot bikers and avoid collision. Helmets are an important safety measure, even if not legally required for adults.
Why is it important?
Due to a bicycle's smaller size, it can be difficult for cars and trucks to spot you on the roadway. They are checking for the presence of other large vehicles before they change lanes or turn, but not necessarily bikes. This places you at greater risk for accident and injury. Additionally, a biker is fully exposed to the elements and lacks protection. An accident, even at low speeds, can result in catastrophic injuries or death.
If you are in an accident with a motorist due to their negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and pursue just compensation. You should consult with an attorney to learn your options. You have a right to be on the road, and drivers need to respect that.