Bicycle accidents can occur for a number of reasons, including the negligence of motor vehicle drivers, poor weather conditions, and poor roadway design. Such accidents can and do also occur at times because of the negligence of the cyclist. Unfortunately, some cyclists do not realize that they are bound by rules of the road just like drivers. Or, if they do realize, they just don’t find those rules convenient enough to follow them.
According to the California Department of Motor vehicles, bicyclists are required to obey all traffic signs and signals. This includes stopping at all STOP signs and following traffic lights the same way motorists do. Doing so isn’t an option, and bicyclists can be cited for failing to follow the rules.
Although cyclists certainly have to abide by the rules of the road that apply to them, they also have rights as well. The most important thing for cyclists to remember about their rights is that they have a right to use the road just like motorists. Shared use of the road is critical during a time when there isn’t universal respect for cyclists using roadways. When motorists fail to exercise appropriate caution around cyclists, it is the cyclists who stand to be harmed the most.
Cyclists who have been harmed as a result of the negligence of a motor vehicle driver should understand that they have the ability to hold that driver accountable through personal injury litigation. By pursuing a case with the assistance of a competent attorney, one can obtain compensation for injuries and other losses.
Source: The Washington Post, “Should bike riders stop for stop signs?,” Ashley Halsey III, August 21, 2014.