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65

I found this article which has some statistics on accidents involving wrong-way cycling: Table 4 shows that all categories of bicyclists traveling against the direction of traffic flow are at greatly increased risk for accidents—on average 3.6 times the risk of those traveling with traffic, and as high as 6.6 times for those 17 and under. This result ...


61

For one thing, if you cycle with traffic the closing speed between car and bike is the DIFFERENCE in speed between the two. If you're doing 20mph and the car is doing 45, the closing speed is 25. Reverse it and the closing speed is 65 -- over twice as fast. This affects the time the driver has to react to the cyclist's presence -- over twice as much time ...


42

In the US, ignorance of the law, statute or conditions is generally not an allowable defense for violating the law. If the speedometer in your car is broken, you can certainly still get a speeding ticket. In almost all US jurisdictions bicycles are vehicles and subject to all the same laws as cars. That's the long answer; the short answer is YES.


27

Safety In general, riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous than riding on the road. There's higher risk from cars coming out of driveways than cars overtaking you from behind. Generally cars aren't looking for anything on a sidewalk moving more than about 3-4 mph, there's often visual obstacles (trees, sign posts, etc) so you're likely to be invisible to ...


25

I believe it depends upon the jurisdiction. In the UK you are not assumed to know the speed you are doing (even if you have a speedometer) and so cannot be convicted of speeding. However, you may be committing other offences. In England and Wales, a "person who rides or drives furiously any horse or carriage, or drives furiously any cattle" is committing an ...


24

Only cross if you are walking and pushing your bike. If you are riding, you are a vehicle and generally you are required to obey all traffic control devices in the same way any other vehicle operator is. There are exceptions, like the Idaho Yield laws, but generally you have to behave like a car. The other thing to think about is that the more you behave ...


24

Well, regarding the question asked: "why is it safer etc." let's go: (already mentioned) The closing speed between a car coming from behind is much slower. He has more time to see you before overtaking, and if you need to cross, you can signal your turn, so he can slow down for you to pass; By the same reasons, you can flow with traffic, take the lane, ...


23

Before posting this list, I need to preface it with my position that riding in a predictable manner, as much like a 'vehicle' as possible is safest to me. To a large degree I disagree with treating bicycles differently because: It confuses interaction with motorists, especially at intersections where the risk is highest for cyclists. Not all motorists or ...


22

If you are in the UK this is an offence. You are traffic, therefore must obey the red. Consequences could be a pull by the police and a fine! I am not sure about other jurisdictions.


19

This is a useful question beyond the continental US. Please add countries you know about to the appropriate section. Biking on the sidewalk is a violation of traffic law in: NSW Australia, unless you are a child under 12 years of age. An adult, who is riding in a supervisory capacity of a cyclist less than 12 years old, may also ride with the young ...


19

California Vehicle Code section 21717: Turning Across Bicycle Lane states that cars are required to enter the bike lane before turning. Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane that is adjacent to his lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the ...


19

I definitely recommend this. Running lights will make you more readily visible as the light will penetrate the fog to an extent. Reflectors and high-viz clothing will be somewhat less effective during foggy conditions. Use caution riding in foggy conditions as drivers may not see you until they are very close.


18

Most US State and Local laws are based on the Uniform Vehicle Code and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines. They will normally have a phrase like: Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway. And a phrase like: Where sidewalks are ...


18

Is it legal? That depends on the country's traffic laws and on the exact layout of the intersection. The traffic laws that I am familiar with (Denmark, Austria) indicate that the bicyclist you describe was wrong to overtake a right-turning car on the car's right side. If there is a bike lane that extends through the intersection, then AFAIK the cyclist ...


18

No. In California, a car can only drive in a bike lane 200 feet before making a turn from that side of the road or when entering or exiting the road. California Vehicle Code 21209


18

In Holland, were I assume cycling is much more common than in Poland, the kind of traffic sign you describe are abundant (see example, "uitgezonderd" is Dutch for "except for"). And cycling against traffic in a one-way street without the sign is indeed illegal. The same rules seem to apply in Poland, though I cannot find a reliable source for Polands cycling ...


17

Anecdotal evidence I have heard is that in a lot of cases complaints actually do have an effect, particularly if the company is a large one. All complaints have to be followed up and while you may not hear back from the company, management does speak to the drivers involved. Whether this has a positive effect or just creates resentment with the driver, I ...


16

Report it to his insurance company first. Period. If for whatever reason the driver decides to renege on his admittance of fault and declines to pay damages to your bike, you're basically screwed if you're past the insurance company's reporting threshold. However, do not sign any paperwork the insurance company asks you to (which may limit their liability ...


15

a cyclist has the speed, mass and maneuverability of a sprinting person Not really! The world record for 100 m sprint is 9.58 s, which equals 37.6 km/h, which is fast but not anything spectacular for a bicycle. The marathon world record equals to little more than 20 km/h, which is less than my average commuting speed. Going back to "human" speeds, I ...


14

The law regarding sidewalk cycling varies widely, but in general it is legal as long as you are traveling cautiously, yielding and giving pedestrians the right-of-way. That said, it usually is not a very smart thing to do, especially to ride against traffic on the sidewalk as you described. The most common accidents involving cars and cyclists occur at ...


14

For any question about law, you always have to check local laws. The general rule is that you go with traffic and ride as far to the side as safe, taking the lane when it makes you safer. In many places this is how the law is written, but even when it isn't you may wish to do so. From what I recall of the League of American Bicyclists safe cycling class I ...


14

John Duggan wrote an excellent checklist for what to do after a bike/car crash. It sounds like you've already handled the first part pretty well, but here are the steps he advises: Do get the necessary medical treatment. Do have your bike thoroughly inspected by a reputable bike shop. Do take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, your ...


14

Just to add to FatHippos answer: The same applies to Germany. In my home town there was a survey of all one-way roads between 2004 and 2010, which resulted in most of them now being open for bikes in both directions. These roads are also marked explicitly with a sign like the one you describe.


13

Plan your route accordingly. Make sure there's a couple gas stations or restaurants along the way that you could stop at if the need arises. It's probably a good idea to be somewhat close to civilization not only for urination purposes, but also in case you have some major mechanical problem with your bike, or you fall and get hurt. This doesn't mean your ...


13

There is also a Czech version of allowing you to bike 'the other direction'. Biking against the one way direction is not much of a crime here and where the traffic is low, it's usually tolerated. I'd advise against biking the wrong direction in traffic heavy places like city centers, though, even when it's allowed. These signs (and corresponding ...


12

In most United States jurisdictions, a bicycle is for all intents and purposes a vehicle. The driver of a bicycle can be cited for exceeding the speed limit, running red lights and stop signs, failure to yield, unsafe driving, DUI, and so on. Generally, you won't be arrested for a "normal" traffic infraction, but once you are stopped (in a car, on a ...


12

Summary: a helmet that meets the new standard is going to protect your head better than one that just barely meets the old standard. Old Law: AS/NZS 2063:1996 (PDF); unfortunately just the start, the actual full text of the law is behind paywalls. New Law: AZ/NZS 2063:2008 (PDF); also need to pay to get full text some stuff about US rules for comparison: ...


11

In most cases it's a matter of common sense and good judgement. If the pavement between the road and the bike racks is quiet and you're not going to impede anyone, cycle it. Same for the bike path not directly accessed from the road. Your 3rd point, though is the crux of many discussions and we should be careful in how to answer it here. My perspective, ...


11

I know someone who's on the receiving end of those bad-driving complaints for a company that has a "Tell us about how I drive phone number here" sticker on their trucks. I know that I have a small sample, but it's probably representative of how it works in most companies. Here's how it goes: You call The person understands your troubles and will make sure ...


11

I'm convinced that the prevalence of cameras is changing the attitude of certain drivers. For the last year or so, I've ridden with a helmet cam. I'm now on my second camera and I'm toying with mounting my old camera (lower definition, poorer lens) on the seat post to face to the rear. It wasn't for this kind of situation, but it would certainly be ...



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