If you ride a bike in Virginia, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s traffic laws. These laws are designed not only to protect cyclists but also to integrate them smoothly into the flow of traffic, creating a harmonious coexistence with motor vehicles. To avoid collisions and protect yourself on the road, always follow these traffic laws closely and be respectful of those around you. A Roanoke car accident lawyer can help if you’re struck while biking on a Virginia road.
Cyclists Have the Same Rights and Responsibilities as Drivers
In Virginia, cyclists are treated with the same level of responsibility and rights as drivers of motor vehicles. This means that while cyclists are entitled to use the roads, they must also adhere to the same rules and regulations that apply to cars. For instance, cyclists must follow speed limits and yield to pedestrians. Cyclists using crosswalks must also come to a complete stop at stop signs before proceeding.
Cyclists are required to obey all traffic lights, stop signs, and road markings in Virginia. This means that they must stop at red lights, slow down when they approach a yield sign, and proceed through intersections while the light is green.
Cyclists Are Only Permitted to Ride in Certain Locations
Virginia’s traffic laws specify where cyclists can and cannot ride. Generally, cyclists should ride with traffic flow, staying as close to the right side of the road as safely possible. Exceptions to this rule include situations like overtaking another vehicle, avoiding hazards, or preparing for a left turn.
Cyclists are also allowed to ride on the highway shoulder and sidewalks unless local ordinances forbid it. When emerging from driveways onto sidewalks or roads, cyclists must yield to pedestrians and vehicles already on the path.
Cyclists Need to Follow Certain Rules While Passing Others
Safe passing is an essential skill for cyclists, and Virginia’s traffic laws outline important rules for this practice. Cyclists may overtake and pass other vehicles only when it is safe, and they can do so on either side. However, cyclists must not travel between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction; this can be hazardous if a motorist is unaware of the cyclist and turns or merges into another lane without checking for oncoming traffic.
Cyclists Must Signal When Making Turns
Cyclists must communicate their movements to other road users by using hand signals, which indicate their intention to stop or turn. Virginia law outlines the appropriate hand signals for turns and stops, and cyclists are required to use them, except when both hands are needed for safe bicycle control:
- When turning left, cyclists must extend their left arm to their side.
- When turning right, cyclists must either extend their right arm out to their side or stretch their left arm to the side and turn it up at a 90-degree angle.
- When stopping, cyclists must stretch their left arm out and bend it down at a 90-degree angle with their hand open.
Were You Injured in a Virginia Bicycle Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in Virginia, understanding these laws is just the beginning. You have the right to pursue compensation for the medical expenses, property repairs, and other losses that you have suffered.
In these situations, a Virginia bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and take your first steps toward recovery and justice. Don’t hesitate to reach out for the help you deserve—contact an attorney today to learn about your legal options.