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Sharing the Road – Know Your Role in Bicycle Accident Prevention

Many cyclists and motorists struggle to share the road in Texas, and this often leads to accidents. Cyclists are incredibly vulnerable to collisions, and their vehicles offer nothing in the way of protection. In contrast, motorists are shielded by layers of metal, safety features, and airbags. This makes them virtually impervious to injuries after cyclist collisions – and it may make them more likely to swerve into cyclists without fear of consequences. But while these motorists may not suffer injuries, they can still experience legal consequences. If you have been injured in a Texas bicycle accident, a positive first step is to examine your rights and responsibilities on the road.

If you or someone you love has been in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled compensation for your injuries or pain and suffering. Call our trusted attorneys today at (972) 529-3476 for a free consultation.

Cyclists and Motorists Have Equal Rights and Responsibilities in Texas

The first thing you need to know about sharing the road in Texas is that both cyclists and motorists have equal rights and responsibilities. Neither cyclists nor motorists get “special treatment” according to traffic laws in the Lone Star State – and both are considered “vehicles.” As a result, cyclists and motorists should follow almost exactly the same traffic laws.

For example, both cyclists and motorists should always stop at red lights. Cyclists do not have the right to proceed through red lights – even if it seems safe to do so. Cyclists also adhere to the exact same rules as motorists when it comes to left-hand turns at intersections, right-hand turns at red lights, and many other situations. In contrast, motorists must yield to cyclists in exactly the same way they would yield to other cars.

Cyclists Can Ride Two Abreast

A common misconception among motorists is that cyclists must ride single-file if traveling in groups. However, cyclists are permitted to travel “two abreast” according to Texas traffic laws. In other words, two cyclists can ride next to each other without breaking any traffic laws. Although this inevitably takes up more space on the road, motorists must still give these cyclists enough room when passing. Texas traffic authorities recommend giving at least three feet of space when passing.

Ultimately, this might make it impossible to safely pass cyclists riding two abreast – especially in congested traffic. Motorists must therefore wait patiently for a safe moment to pass, as veering too close to cyclists can easily clip them and cause injuries.

Cyclists Cannot Ride on Sidewalks

Cyclists should never ride on sidewalks. Although this might seem like the safest option, it is unlawful according to traffic regulations in Texas. Once again, cyclists and motorists must obey exactly the same rules in Texas. You wouldn’t drive a car on the sidewalk – and the same logic applies to riding a bike on the sidewalk. Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, and a cyclist could hit them. This makes it even more important for motorists to share the road with cyclists – as people on bikes cannot legally ride in any other location.

Motorists Must Check for Cyclists Before Turning at Intersections

Many bike collisions occur when vehicles turn at intersections. A motorist turning right may not be aware of a cyclist traveling behind them. By turning right without checking their mirrors and blind spots, they may move directly into the path of the cyclist, cut them off, and cause serious injuries.

The same logic applies to a vehicle turning left at an intersection. While most motorists keep an eye out for incoming traffic, they often fail to check for cyclists. These cyclists are smaller and therefore more challenging to spot. They may also move surprisingly quickly, and they might be blocked by other vehicles until the last possible moment.

Both Cyclists and Motorists Should Signal Before Turning

Both cyclists and motorists should signal before turning. Ideally, they should do this long before they execute the turn, as this gives ample warning to everyone around them. If a driver signals only moments before turning, nearby cyclists do not have time to react. Cyclists also need to signal, and they do this by gesturing with their hands. Just like motorists, they should start signaling long before executing their turns to give motorists plenty of warning.

Find a Qualified Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Irving

If you have been searching for an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Irving, look no further than the David Sanchez Law Group, PLLC. Over the years, we have assisted numerous injured plaintiffs in Texas – including those who have been injured in cycling accidents. We know that the rules of the road can be difficult to understand, but you should not let this confusion dissuade you from pursuing compensation. With our help, you can examine exactly who was at fault for your accident. Remember, it may be possible to pursue compensation even if you were partly responsible for your own bike accident in Texas. Call today to learn more about your legal options at (972) 529-3476.


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