All states have requirements that bicyclists ride on the far right side of the road, or in the bike lane if they are not moving as fast as auto traffic. Unfortunately, bicyclists that follow the law and ride on the side-of-the-road are often involved in accidents. Accidents include hitting the opening door of a parked car, being brushed by a passing car or truck and being struck by a motor vehicle turning right.
Fortunately, there are laws that give bicyclists as much right to the roadway as motor vehicles. Given cyclists are required to ride closely to parked cars, the person opening the car door of a parked car is almost always entirely the fault of the door opener. Since cyclists are forced to share lanes with passing traffic, motor vehicles are to maintain a safe space while passing. That distance is 3′ or greater depending on the circumstances.
Cyclists have as much right to the road as motorists do. If the cyclists has no opportunity to pass, motorists must slow down and wait until the cyclist has the opportunity to pass. If a cyclist is bumped by a passing motorist, an insurance adjuster might suggest that you were not as far to the right of the lane. It is not the cyclist’s duty to stop or otherwise get out of the motorist’s way. Motorists turning right are one of the most common causes of bicycle accidents. This can happen when a motorist passes the bicyclist and then slows later to make a right turn directly into the cyclist’s path. Or a motorist turns right into the path of a cyclist without looking for the bike. Remember…motorists are not to make a turn unless it is safe to do so.
If you are involved in a bicycle vs. car or truck accident, contact an experienced lawyer.