Stay Safe This Bicycle Season
With the sudden arrival of summer weather last month, many are enjoying the fresh air on their bicycle. Whether riding competitively or for enjoyment, it is important to understand how to keep yourself safe and free from personal injury while on your bicycle.
Rhode Island has invested in an intricate network of bike trails that spans more than 60 miles across the state. This is by far the safest place to ride, providing an environment free from motor vehicles. If your route does take you on surface roads, it is important to understand your responsibilities as a biker when it comes to personal injury.
Take this short quiz to see if you are in the know as it relates to the rules of the road:
- True or False? Bikes follow the same traffic laws as cars or motorcycles?
True. According to Rhode Island Law, “…propelling a vehicle by human power shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle”
- True or False? Bikes are required to ride on the right side of the road?
True. Rhode Island law states that “…every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle.”
- True or False? When using a crosswalk, you must walk your bike across the street.
False. People riding bicycles are given all of the same rights as a pedestrian while using a crosswalk.
It is important to always wear a helmet, keep your bike well maintained and stay alert while riding a bicycle. This being said, accidents do happen so it is important to be prepared. Always carry a mobile phone with you along with a well-equipped first aid kit. If an accident occurs, it is important to seek medical care, and as soon as possible, document all details surrounding the accident. The location, weather, names and contact information of people involved and photographs if possible. The statute of limitations for personal injury in Rhode Island is three years, so if liability is a concern, it is important to contact your lawyer as early as possible.