As this road sign suggests, Cyclists love to say “Share The Road” on any road they are legally allowed to ride, they have as much right to the roadway as a car. Cyclists will generally hug the side of the road as most cars will try to pass the much slower bike rider. But this creates a huge risk of potentially catastrophic injury to the cyclist. When a several thousand pound car hits a couple hundred pounds of rider and bike, the rider will go flying. We’re going to see more of these “Share the Road” or “May Use Full Lane” signs (the pictured sign is on Rossback Road in Anne Arundel County) – which are already popping up here in Maryland – because of the emphasis on green transportation. To avoid more accidents like what happened to my client, as described below, it can’t hurt to be reminded that the rules of the road apply to cyclists, too.
I was recently reminded of this when a client riding his bike, and staying to the side of the road even though he had right of way, was hit by a car that simply turned into him. He was badly injured and would have been hurt more if he hadn’t been wearing his helmet. I’m not sure that the driver of the car who hit him appreciated the fact that the bicycle had right of way and that it was the driver’s responsibility not to pass or not to hit the bike if he was going to pass within the same lane of traffic. It can prove expensive not to know and understand the “rules of the road”. The driver of that car was responsible for the medical bills, therapy, lost wages, pain & suffering of the cyclist – and had to buy him a new bike. Just as if the driver had hit another car in the road.
So share the road and watch out for the bikes that may be using the full lane. They’re allowed. And if you have any “rules of the road” questions, call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.