In cities across the country, bike lanes are becoming more and more prevalent as the push towards clean energy and less-congested streets gains yet more steam. If you have recently started using the bike lanes of your city, there are some important notes to retain about staying safe when sharing the road, and even if you're following the rules to the letter, some drivers might not be. If you find yourself the victim of a driver using the bike lane and causing you harm, knowing exactly where your rights as a cyclist begin and how they relate to motorists in the bike lane is critical if you have to go to court.
Just Another Vehicle
What many car and truck drivers don't realize is that your rights as a cyclist are just as relevant as theirs, and these two sets of rights are very similar, if not identical. Cyclists have just as much entitlement to the road as cars do, especially where there is no bike lane. That means that if a car clips your back wheel and causes you to fall, you're fully able to pursue legal action the same way a fender bender would allow you to go to court if you sustain an injury. Also, if you are riding in the bike lane and are struck by an open door, or otherwise have to swerve to avoid a door, you can pursue legal action due to the motorist unsafely exiting a vehicle, which can be a fine or more if it causes you an injury.
Yielding at Intersections
As mentioned above, as a cyclist, you are entitled to the same rights as motorists while out on the road. Another common situation where this conflict can come to a head is when a cyclist is struck by a car or truck at an intersection where the car is turning right. Much like with two cars, if a cyclist is going straight through an intersection, he or she doesn't have to yield to the car turning right. If you are struck by a right-turning car, it is entirely the fault of the car operator, which can be good news if you go to court for an injury or damage to your bike.
The bike lane is a blessing to thousands of cyclists every single day, but in order to keep it from turning into a curse, it is important to know exactly what your rights are when commuting on this part of the road. As long as you keep in mind that you are just as important as any other car, truck, motorcycle, or even duck boat on the road, you'll be all set if a collision forces you to go to court and seek damages or defend your use of the bike lane. For more information, speak with experts like the Law Office Of Daniel E Goodman.