According to Utah State Law 41-6a-1102, a bicycle is considered a vehicle, and as such, has just as many rights and responsibilities on the road as your typical motor vehicle. This includes stopping at stop signs and stoplights, yielding to oncoming traffic, watching out for pedestrians, and obeying most other rules and regulations of the road. Unfortunately, unlike when you are in a motor vehicle, when you are involved in a biking accident, you sustain much more serious injuries, with much more damaging consequences. Because of this, it is imperative that you practice safe bicycling, and learn about bicyclist accident prevention techniques as well as reactive measures to bicycling accidents.
Your Responsibilities As A Utah Bicyclist
As a bicyclist, you have great responsibility to yourself and those around you. While your vehicle itself may not be able to cause much destruction, your negligent actions can lead to an accident and serious injuries to yourself and passengers of the other motor vehicle that was involved. To prevent such injuries from occurring, there are a few important rules for you to adhere to:
- Always remember: as a Utah bicyclist, you are subject to the same rules, traffic signals, and courtesies as every other vehicle on the road.
- Never ride next to more than one other bicyclist on the road, and even then, only ride side-by-side if doing so will not impede traffic.
- Always yield to pedestrians, and be sure to let them know with an audible signal that you will be passing.
- Always utilize the proper lighting and reflectors if you ride a half hour before sunrise or earlier, later than a half hour after sunset, or at any time of day when it is difficult to see more than 1000 feet in front of you.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Never use the shoulder of the roadway to pass traffic.
- Always signal your intention to turn left or right, or to change lanes.
These Utah bicycling safety rules are courtesy of Christensen & Hymas Bicycle Safety Infographic.
As you can see, many of these rules are ones that you – as a Utah licensed driver – already practice when operating a motor vehicle.
What To Do When You Are Involved in a Bicycling Accident
If you have been involved in a bicycling accident and sustained serious injuries as a result, it is extremely important that you do the following right away:
- File an accident report with law enforcement;
- Obtain the contact information of every eye-witness at the scene of the accident;
- Document the events of the accident to the best of your abilities;
- Document injuries sustained from the accident;
- Seek medical attention (this step is very important to your potential personal injury case);
- Place any and all evidence (clothes, damaged property, etc.) from the accident in a bag, box, or other place for safekeeping – you may need it for proving liability; and
- Contact a Utah personal injury lawyer.
The accompanying infographic provides a more in-depth look at types of insurance claims a bicyclist may file and for what types of accidents.
Consult a Utah Bicycling Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a wreck, it is imperative that you reach out to a legal professional immediately. Through a careful evaluation of the evidence of your case, and by utilizing a thorough understanding of Utah bicycling law, accident and injury lawyers can help you obtain the damages you need to recover from your bicycling injuries.