Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. For many people across Ohio and Kentucky, warmer weather means getting out on their bicycles for a ride. While cycling is a great way to get around and a fantastic way to exercise, there are obvious hazards to cyclists whether they are riding on back roads, city streets, or even in their own neighborhood. To help you stay safe, a Cincinnati bicycle accident lawyer from Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima explains what you need to know about staying safe and the law.
Know the Law Where You Are Cycling
Many cyclists are simply unaware of the laws that govern the cities where they ride. These laws were enacted to keep cyclists safe and should be followed whenever practicable. Should an accident occur, you want to be sure you are not in any way responsible so you can fight for the fullest amount of compensation available under the law.
Kentucky Bicycle Laws
- Cyclists must use a front light when riding at night or whenever it is darker than usual
- Cyclists must use a light or red rear reflector whenever they are riding on a highway or the shoulder of a highway
- Cyclists must use a steady or flashing red rear light when cycling at night or when it is darker than usual
- Cyclists must stop at all stop signs and red lights as any other vehicle
Ohio Bicycle Laws
- Cyclists must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable unless it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so
- Cyclists may “take the lane” if the road is too narrow for a motor vehicle to safely pass them side-by-side
- Cyclists may ride two-abreast in the same lane and are not required to move out of the way of faster traffic
- Motor vehicles must provide at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle
As you can see, the laws pertaining to bicycles can vary widely from state-to-state, and some regulations make certain cities and towns more “bicycle-friendly” than others. In addition to state laws, you should also be aware that Ohio and Kentucky allows local jurisdictions to pass their own ordinances regarding bicycles, and these may not be fully consistent with the state law described above. If you are a cyclist, you should familiarize yourself with the local bike laws before heading out on the road.
Bicycle Accidents Projected to Rise Amid Pandemic
Since 2009, the number of fatalities among cyclists has grown every year across the country. As more people take up cycling for exercise due to the pandemic, these numbers are expected to continue to grow. The most recent statistics available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) paint a sobering picture:
- 21 cyclists were killed in Ohio in 2018, up from 19 in 2017
- Both Kentucky (.9%) and Ohio (1.6%) have relatively low rates of bicycle fatalities when compared against the national average of 2.1%, although not the lowest in the country
Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Call a Cincinnati Bicycle Accident Lawyer at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident and need help, contact us at 513-496-0134 to schedule a free consultation. At Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima our personal injury attorneys will work with you to help you understand your options as an accident victim.