Bicycling is recognized by the state of Ohio is legitimate means of transportation. According to the Ohio Department of Transportation, bicycling as a means of getting around is increasing in popularity throughout the state. However, due to the smaller size of bicycles, even the slightest contact with a motor vehicle can cause serious injuries and sometimes, even death.
Title 45 of the Ohio Revised Code, section 4511.52 contains the laws that govern the use of bicycles on Ohio roads. According to that statute, bicyclists have many of the same rights that are afforded to motorists and a few that are reserved solely for them. For example, bicycles are allowed to travel on sidewalks, whereas automobiles are prohibited.
However, one important rule that applies equally to both vehicles is that vehicles seeking to overtake another vehicle must pass them on the left while maintaining a “safe distance” from the vehicle being passed. Additionally, the passing vehicle may not again return to the right of the road until they have sufficiently cleared the other vehicles pass.
The rules regarding turns at intersections are exactly the same for bicyclists as they are for cars. Bicyclists have the right to merge safely into the left turning lane at an intersection and observe traffic lights just as if they were a car.
The problem is that many Ohio motorists are not aware of these regulations. Despite an ignorance of the law, a motorist who injures a bicyclist who is operating their bike within the prescribed manner may be liable to the injured party.
Our law firm recognizes that bicyclists who are injured by cars and trucks through no fault of their own often experience serious injuries that require expensive medical treatments and other therapies.
We represent clients who have been injured in a bicycle accident all throughout Southwest Ohio, including Butler, Warren and Hamilton Counties. Our law firm stands ready to see that you have competent representation in your claims to recover your medical costs, lost wages and other associated expenses.
Source: Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, “Bicycle Accidents” Sep. 19, 2014