Riding a bicycle can be a fun and eco-conscious way of getting around. But it can also be risky. Knowing the rules of the road and laws around riding a bicycle are the best way to keep yourself safe on the road. This guide will help make sure you are ready to ride with the bicycle safety info and tips you need.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident while riding a bicycle help is available. Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today at Spivak and Sakellariou so we can fight for what you deserve.
What Are The Ohio Bicycle Laws?
Laws around riding a bicycle can vary greatly depending on what state you are in. So what are the laws around riding a bicycle in Ohio? Under Ohio law bicycles are categorized as “vehicles” so they must be operated lawfully on any roads.
What does this mean specifically? Section 4511.55 of Ohio State Law states the following.
- Any person riding a bicycle must stay as close to the right side of the road as possible.
- Any person on a bicycle must follow all normal traffic laws that apply to vehicles.
- Bicycles must not ride more than two abreast in a roadway unless it is a roadway specifically meant for bicycles.
- A person on a bicycle is not required to ride on the side of the road if it is unsafe to do so.
Basically, all laws that apply to motor vehicles can also apply to bicycles. However, bicyclists have some special rules that apply to them for added safety.
- Non-motorized bicycles can ride on the sidewalk if needed for safety, sidewalk riding is discouraged but not illegal.
- No bicycle can carry more people than it is designed for.
- A cyclist who is intoxicated riding on the street can be charged with a DUI, however, if they are riding on their own private property they will not be
Educating oneself on the law and exercising common sense and caution are key components to staying safe while riding a bicycle.
Bicycle Safety Tips
The main way to keep safe while riding a bicycle is to observe all the laws, but there are some other steps you can take to keep yourself safe.
State law in Ohio does not require one to wear a helmet while riding a non-motorized bicycle. However, different city ordinances may vary. Regardless, wearing a helmet is always the best choice when riding a bicycle.
When riding a bicycle you must use hand signals to indicate to other vehicles what direction you are going in. Cyclists must use their left arm and hand to make these signals.
- If you are making a left turn, extend your arm and hand horizontally
- If you are making a right turn, extend your arm and hand upwards at the right angle.
- If you are going to stop or decrease speed dramatically, extend your arm and hand downwards at a right angle.
These signals will indicate to the drivers around you what direction you are going in.
There are other ways to keep yourself safe while riding a bicycle.
- Wear reflective clothing.
- Refrain from wearing headphones or any listening device that could be a distraction.
- Stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Exercise extra caution on roads that are less familiar.
- Avoid riding at night.
This is not an exhaustive list of bicycle safety tips. Common sense will always be your best tool in keeping safe on the roads.
What To Do If You Are In A Bicycle Accident
Unfortunately, even the safest and most educated cyclist could still be in a bicycle accident. There are factors outside of your control and part of being a safe cyclist is being prepared for the unknown. If you are in an accident follow these steps.
- Seek medical care, even if you do not believe you are injured you could be in shock and injuries may not be apparent right away.
- If you can, get the full contact information of the individual you’ve been in an accident with.
- Take pictures of all the damage and injuries sustained.
- Get the contact information and accounts of any witnesses.
- Consider calling the police to file an official report.
- Document everything about the accident on paper.
- Contact one of our personal injury attorneys at Spivak and Sakellariou so we can protect your legal rights.
Sometimes there is no way to avoid an accident, however, you can control what happens after one. Follow these steps and contact us today to protect yourself and your rights. And remember, these accidents are not always as cut-and-dry as they seem. Even if you think or have been told you are at fault, you may not be. Seek advice from a qualified professional to be sure your accident is handled correctly.
How We Can Help
Here at Spivak and Sakellariou, we specialize in helping victims of accidents. We have years of experience in navigating the law and are ready to help. We offer free consultation and it costs absolutely nothing upfront to partner with us. There is absolutely no risk in contacting us today. We are here to fight for what you deserve.
We have several different ways for you to contact us anytime, day or night. Read more about your options and how we can help.
Being in an accident can be a terrifying, isolating, and harrowing experience. After the trauma of an accident, the only thing a victim should be focused on is getting back to normal. We can handle the rest. Contact us today so we can fight for what you deserve.