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A Basic Guide to Legally Riding a Bicycle in Traffic

Published on November 9th, 2011

Adhering to the rules of the road while travelling by bike will reduce your chances of being involved in an accident. Before you ride, you should always make sure that your tires are properly inflated and put on your helmet to ensure your safety. While navigating the streets, be sure to follow the rules below so that you are within the restrictions of the law.

  • Always ride in the bike lane: You should travel in the bike lane going in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic can increase your chances of an accident. On roads on which there is no designated bike lane, ride along the right side of the road in the shoulder. Never ride your bike on the sidewalk, as this is reserved as a pedestrian walkway.
  • Signal when you turn: Just like any other vehicle, bicycles should signal when turning and stopping to alert other drivers before you maneuver your bike. If you are making a left turn, you have the right of way when entering the turn lane, but you should still check for oncoming traffic before switching lanes and signal with your arm.
  • Ride in single file: When there are multiple bikes on the road, they should be traveling in a single file line to avoid obstructing traffic. Riding side by side makes it difficult for drivers to give bicyclists adequate space for safe travel.
  • Use a light at night: Bike lights and reflectors will increase nighttime visibility. A headlight on the front of your bike and a red tail light on the back will alert drivers of your presence.

To defend your rights after a bicycle injury, contact Shea Law Group. We have over 60 years of combined experience defending personal injury victims. Schedule a consultation to discuss your case on our website or call (773) 365-0040.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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