Driving for Bicycle Safety
As urban city areas continue to draw new residents and as people become more “green” or just try to save gas we see more bicycle riders in the streets riding bicycles to work and to run errands, than ever before.
Some people think that bicycle riders don’t have any right to be riding in the streets. Other think they have the same rights as cars do. Who is right?
Under Texas Law a person riding a bicycle in a street is a “vehicle” and the person operating the bicycle has the same rights and duties that a person driving a vehicle has. The only exception is that a person riding a bicycle in a street who is moving slower than the vehicular traffic is to ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.
The only problem is many times the gutter near the curb is uneven, has potholes or has trash in it and that will make it unsafe to ride there. In that case, the bicyclist can ride in the main roadway.
Whenever a motorist sees a bicyclist in the street they are to treat them the same as if the bicyclist was driving a car. They must allow them the same rights and privileges that a motor vehicle has.
Impatient motor vehicle drivers get frustrated if the have to go slower behind a bicyclist and many times will try to pass when it is not safe. If they you are going to pass a bicyclist they must: (1) make sure it is safe to pass and (2) allow sufficient time and room to pass the bicyclists. They must remember the bicyclist in front of them has the right of way and must be passed safely.
If a bicyclist is involved in a collision their injuries will probably be substantially worse since in all likelihood they are going to hit the pavement. If you ride a bicycle on the street always wear a helmet and protective clothing.