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 bicycle rule 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 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, police can issue cyclists tickets 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 equal 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.
Keep these bicycle rule myths in mind next time you’re out on the road!
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.
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