As the weather heats up, you see more people riding bicycles around Mobile. Sad to say, you also see more cyclists getting into accidents.
So, if you get hit, does the law treat you like a walker or as a car driver?
Here in Alabama, a bike rider is not only considered operating a vehicle but, ironically, a motorized vehicle. You must follow the rules of operating a car and are treated as if you were.
For example, you must stop at a stop sign. If you roll through, you could get a ticket. Perhaps more importantly, you might be held responsible for your own medical bills if you get hurt. Remember, if you are even 1% responsible for your injuries in Alabama, you cannot collect anything from the person who hit you.
Here is another fact that might surprise you. You cannot legally ride on a sidewalk. Despite the images you have from the movie E.T. or a Dennis the Menace episode, you must ride your bike on the far right of the street. You can, however, use a bike path if available.
Here are a few other laws:
- Riders under 16 must wear a helmet (but everyone should).
- At night, you must have a light.
- No more than 2 cyclists can ride side by side in a lane.
- Don’t drink and bicycle. The penalties are the same as drinking and driving a car.
- While riding your bike, you cannot hold on to a moving vehicle — think pickup truck. (Hey, I am your lawyer, not your uncle.)
With the price of gasoline on the rise, I suspect we will see more bikes on the road. Just remember that pedal power will not exempt you from the rules of the road in our state.
If you suffer from a personal injury like an auto/railroad wreck, wrongful death claim, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We do like answering your questions. We also have lawyers standing by at our offices on Monday mornings.
Mobile Personal Injury Attorney