Does a bicycle belong on the street or on the sidewalk? Who has right of way when a driver and rider are both attempting to go the same way? A lot of confusion regarding bicycle safety can be summed up in one simple law: bicyclists are to follow the same traffic laws as drivers, and drivers are to treat bicycles like any other vehicle. Here’s what that means in practice, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation:

Driver Responsibility

  • Pass at a safe distance, making sure you can see the bicyclist in your rear-view mirror before returning to the lane.
  • Do not pass any closer than three feet to a bicyclist.
  • Yield to an oncoming bicyclist before making a turn. 
  • Yield to a bicyclist that is in a bike lane or shoulder.
  • Yield to a bicyclist that has the right of way according to normal traffic laws.
  • Do not open a car door on a bicyclist.
  • Do not throw anything at a bicyclist.
  • Do everything in your power to avoid a Maryland collision with a bicyclist.

Bicyclist Responsibility

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Ride as close to the right side of the road as possible.
  • Stop for traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Yield to oncoming traffic that has right of way according to normal traffic laws.
  • Stick to bicycle lanes where available unless passing or turning left.
  • Do not carry passengers except with an extra seat.
  • Do not carry anything that interferes with your ability to see, stay balanced, or have both hands on the bicycle.
  • Do not hang on to any vehicles while riding.
  • Do not wear a headset or earplugs in both ears while riding.
  • Do not ride on a highway with a speed higher than 50 miles per hour.
  • Anyone under age 16 must wear a helmet while bicycling.
  • A headlamp and red rear-light are required on a highway where visibility is poor (less than 1,000 feet).

Following these laws may help protect you from a serious accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car-versus-bike accident in Maryland, you may want to talk to an experienced Maryland accident lawyer today. For a free consultation, call Nickelsporn and Lundin at 800-875-9700.