Rhode Island laws attempt to reduce bike accidents
Every year, the number of bike accidents in Rhode Island continues to rise. That has prompted the state to enact more laws that are aimed to protect bicycle enthusiasts. Many times, victims have just cause to take legal action against those responsible for their accidents.
Bicyclists are expected to share the road with vehicles by riding as far to the right side of the road as possible. When passing a bicycle rider, drivers are expected to move over to the left to pass at a safe distance. This way there is sufficient room between the bike and the car should the rider experience a fall.
However, drivers are not deemed to be at fault when bike riders exceed 15 mph or are traveling in the opposite direction of vehicles into oncoming traffic.
Similar to motorcycle helmet laws, biker helmets are optional for adults in the state of Rhode Island. However, bikers 15 years of age and under are required to wear helmets at all times.
Bikers are not required but encouraged to use bicycle paths located right next to roadways. This is not mandated by law. Bikers are also required to obey stop signs and traffic lights just as the operator of a motor vehicle would do.
Sidewalks can also be used for bicycles or any other means of transportation operated by human power. When bikers opt to ride on sidewalks, they are afforded the same rights as pedestrians.
Those riding bicycles should also note that in the state of Rhode Island, a bicycle is considered a type of vehicle. Therefore, bikers must comply with the same DUI laws as motor vehicle operators. Having a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) over .08 can subject bikers to arrest, fines and potential jail time just like automobile drivers.
Car operators are held liable in bike accidents caused by the opening of a vehicle door. Right turns in which cars windup cutting off bikers, and accidents that occur when entering or leaving a parking lot.
If you have been injured in a North Kingston or Providence bike accident, it’s time to turn to the experience at Calvino Law Associates. John A. Calvino has built a solid reputation based on years of experience and success in Rhode Island. It’s time to put that experience to work for you and get the most out your recent bike accident.