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Sharing the Road with Bikes

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on January 11, 2022

Cycling is more popular than ever, and Phoenix drivers commonly encounter cyclists, whether driving a regular bicycle or an electric bike. When operating your car, truck, van, or SUV in an area where cyclists often travel, you must drive more carefully. A cyclist, whether on a regular bicycle or a motorized bike, holds the same legal rights and responsibilities as other vehicle operators.

Bicycles are typically slower and less visible when sharing a street or road. The small, narrow size of the vehicle adds to the risk of an accident with serious or fatal injuries. If a cyclist or a group of cyclists is sharing the road, they have the same right of way as vehicle operators. Cyclists must be treated with the respect, courtesy, and patience you would give to other drivers, if not more.

How to Turn Safely When Cyclists are Nearby

A bicycle rider may be present in a bike lane adjacent to the traffic lane, or at the side of a roadway without a marked bicycle lane. When making a right turn, it is imperative that you take great care to ensure a cyclist is not moving into the area beside your vehicle. Shoulder check and use your signal to alert a nearby cyclist who may be traveling forward in the bike lane. When a bike lane merges, use extreme caution when making a right turn.

If you are turning left at an intersection, a cyclist may be moving in the oncoming lane, and will be much more difficult to see. Slow down and be alert when making the turn. Without taking these steps, a driver may inadvertently turn directly into the path of a cyclist, causing serious or fatal injuries to an innocent cyclist.

How to Safely Pass a Cyclist

Bicycle riders move at a slower speed than regular vehicles and may slow traffic. Under Arizona law, cyclists can legally ride two abreast, if they are not slowing traffic. To pass one or more cyclists, you are required to give at least three feet of clearance when passing. Trucks and utility vehicles must allow five feet when passing. Do not attempt to pass bicyclists until you have enough room. Do not honk at a bicycle rider you want to pass. Rather than becoming frustrated or annoyed, respect those riding bicycles – they are your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Dooring and Cyclists – A Serious Hazard

If you are parking at the side of a street, look before opening your door. A cyclist may be traveling forward, could be struck by the door, and thrown into moving traffic. As a vehicle operator, you are legally required to ensure it is safe to open your door before doing so.

Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Connect With Us.

If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, you need legal representation from a talented, experienced personal injury attorney. At The Husband & Wife Law Team, we are deeply, personally committed to our clients. Our legal team is different. Mark Breyer is a certified specialist in injury and wrongful death law. This rare qualification is found in only two percent of the lawyers in Arizona. We offer a free consultation and provide legal counsel in bike accident cases on a contingency fee basis.

Call us today at (602) 457-6222 for a free initial consultation.

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