Are Bicyclists Considered Drivers if They Ride on the Street?

Are people on bikes considered drivers or pedestrians if they are riding in the street rather than on the sidewalk? When attributing fault for an accident, does this distinction matter? And is it legal for them to block traffic? If you were recently injured by a negligent cyclist as a driver or pedestrian, you will want to know this information and more.

Continue below to learn what most state laws say about bicyclists’ rights on the road, as well as what you should do if you were injured in a related personal injury accident that was not your fault.

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Indianapolis IN Bicycle Accident Lawyers 317-881-2700

Understanding a Bicyclist’s Rights on the Street

If a bicyclist was riding recklessly, whether in the street or through a crossing, and they caused you to have a car accident, it is complicated to know whether or not they will be considered a driver or pedestrian when it comes time to assign liability. It is important to speak with a licensed personal injury lawyer who can explain the laws surrounding such situations, and how they are applied in the case of an accident claim. The truth is that cyclists’ rules and rights are positioned in a cloudy area of the law. Most states leave it up to their local municipalities to make and uphold such laws, which tend to further muddle the distinction between a cyclist being a pedestrian or driver.

However, even with the freedom of creating their own laws for bike riders, most jurisdictions remain in agreeance with the Uniform Vehicle Code, which states that those operating bicycles on the street are subject to the same traffic rules and responsibilities as those operating motor vehicles, and therefore, are considered drivers themselves, except where the law says otherwise.

Bicycles are Typically Viewed as Vehicles

The universally-accepted principal among most municipalities is that a bicycle is a type of a vehicle, so anyone operating a bicycle on the street is considered a driver. Some states actually mandate that bicycles have license plates if they are to be ridden on the road, while others require helmets or even a registration. In all states, it is illegal for anyone to ride a bicycle on the freeway or interstate, unless there is no other alternative route.

Cyclists Must Stay Right and Ride in the Same Direction as Traffic

Most states have provisions in their statutes that decree how far to the right a bicyclist should be when riding on the road. Although many people misread the statute and assume that it says riders should stay as far right as possible, it really says to say as far right as practicable. Furthermore, bike riders are required in most states to ride in the same direction as traffic, with a few exceptions, such as cross-traffic turns or to avoid a hazard.

Injured By a Negligent Bike Rider?

Bicyclists are not often considered pedestrians in the case of an accident that results in a personal injury. They do not usually have the right-away on crosswalks like those on foot do, and they can be held liable in the case that their carelessness causes a car accident, or some other type of serious accident. If you or your loved one recently suffered serious injuries after being involved in a car accident caused by a irresponsible cyclist, get in touch with an Indiana car accident injury lawyer right away.

Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to speak with a certified and skilled personal injury lawyer if you were injured in a car accident caused by a bike rider in Indiana. We are well-versed in Indiana bicyclist liability laws, and can ensure your rights to being compensated are fully-protected, and most importantly, upheld. Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys will obtain the maximum settlement or verdict for your personal injury claim, regardless of the size or scope of your accident.

Ready to get started on your financial recovery after a bicycle accident in Indiana? Contact us soon to schedule a free case evaluation, which can be held via phone, video conference, or in-person at our Indianapolis law office. Act fast to preserve your rights, before the statute of limitations runs out on your claim.

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