When the weather grows warmer many people turn to bicycling as a great way to get where they are going, reduce carbon emissions, and exercise at the same time. Before dusting off your bicycle and strapping on your helmet it’s good to familiarize yourself with the laws for bicyclists in our state.
Bicycles are considered “vehicles” and held to the same rules of the road as cars in this state.
A bicyclist has the same general duty as motorists to obey traffic signals and has the same rights-of-way as well. A bicyclist can also be subject to criminal charges for “driving” while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The law in Maryland specifically prohibits bicyclists from traveling on roadways with a speed greater than 50 miles per hour, from traveling with a passenger (unless the bike was specifically designed to do so), or from wearing earphones or headsets while traveling. This is but a small sampling of the many restrictions that have been enacted by the state to try to minimize collisions.
Bicyclists also have rights when it comes to their interactions with vehicles on the roadways. While generally, bikes are NOT to be ridden on a sidewalk, there are certain instances and localities where sidewalk use is permitted. Additionally, there are certain roadways where riding is so precarious, that riding on an adjacent sidewalk is the safer choice for bikers even where it may be prohibited.
Because of their lack of protection and exposure to heavier, faster-moving vehicles, bicyclists are at risk of serious injury should a collision occur with a motor vehicle. Road rash, stitches, fractures, and even serious brain injuries are common outcomes for folks just out for some fresh air.
Yes, there are rules of the road for bicyclists, but they can be confusing to interpret, and could significantly impact the outcome of your case. If you are involved in an accident on your bicycle, reach out to Sussman & Simcox. We can analyze your case, and guide you through the many obstacles you may encounter in presenting your injury claim.