As motorists, we should all be familiar with the rules of the road before
we get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. But when it comes to bicyclists, a
lot of motorists are unfamiliar with how to legally and safely share the road
with them. Dennis VanDerGinst, CEO of VanDerGinst Law, P.C., helps dispel these
common myths that can be downright dangerous.
Myth #1 – Bicyclists should pedal against the traffic so motorists can see them more easily.
“This couldn’t be further from the truth,” explains VanDerGinst. “In
Illinois and Iowa, the rules of the road are consistent with other motor
vehicle drivers. Cyclists should always stay in the flow of traffic.” Of
course, a cyclist will not be traveling at a similar speed as your car so it’s
important to take note when approaching a cyclist.
Myth #2 – At an intersection, bicyclists always have the right of way.
“A lot of people falsely believe cyclists are considered pedestrians,”
explains VanDerGinst. “But the truth is, a person pedaling a two-wheeled bicycle
is no longer a pedestrian and is subject to the same rules as motor vehicle
drivers.” When a motor vehicle and a cyclist are both at an intersection, the
one who has the right of way is the one who got there first.
Myth #3 – Bicyclists aren’t subject to traffic violations.
Wrong. “In fact, cyclists can be ticketed the same way as motorists,”
notes VanDerGinst. This means if a cyclist doesn’t make a complete stop at a
stop sign or passes in an unsafe manner, he or she could be pulled over and
subject to a hefty fine. “While speeding is unlikely, it could
theoretically happen in a school zone,” adds VanDerGinst.
The ultimate take-away is that bicyclists and motorists are treated
equally in the eyes of the law. They are subject to the same rules and the same
penalties as other motorists. Pumping the brakes on these common myths can go a
long way in keeping motorists and cyclists safe on the road this summer.
If you or a loved one are injured in a bicycling accident, contact VanDerGinst Law today. We have knowledgeable and experienced attorneys who can help guide you through the complexities of your case and help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win. Call VanDerGinst Law at 800-797-5391. The law is tough, being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.