Your Rights on a Bike
- posted: Oct. 18, 2012
- Traffic accidents
A bicycle is a vehicle, just like a car or truck. Arizona law establishes that, with certain specific exceptions, all traffic laws apply to you as a bicyclist, and you have responsibilities to other vehicles on the road and to pedestrians.
However, many people do not realize that you also have rights.
Because your vehicle is lightweight and portable, and you are more physically exposed, it is easy to believe that you must yield to everything and everyone, no matter what. While your physical safety is of course the most important concern, it is worth knowing that others on the road also have obligations to you. If you are injured in an accident or other unfortunate incident, do not assume that you are without recourse.
Many car-bike accidents occur when a driver is attempting to overtake a bicyclist. Arizona law states that the driver must maintain a safe distance … of not less than three feet between you and the car until it has safely overtaken you.
If a driver fails to follow this law and serious physical injury results, he can be fined a criminal penalty of $500. If a death results, the criminal fine is $1000. This criminal penalty is in addition to money awarded to you and your descendants in a civil suit against the driver.
According to the legal concept, negligence per se, failing to follow a law such as this means that the driver is by definition negligent and liable to you for any injuries you may have received. Even if the driver was not found criminally responsible, the provision still applies, giving you a leg up in court.
If you have been injured on your bike, please consider contacting us. We represent bicyclists as a significant part of our practice and have a great deal of experience helping people like you get the compensation they deserve.