Like motorcycle accidents, bicyclists are particularly susceptible to collisions and are less protected from injury, despite helmet laws. For these reasons, when an automobile collides with a bicyclist, the injuries are often devastating and permanent.
Several Maryland laws help to protect bicyclists. Many of these rules are designed for safety, and can be used during a bicycle accident lawsuit to inform the judge or jury of the standard of care required by the negligent automobile driver. Here is a sampling of the important rules of the road, from the Maryland Transportation Code:
- § 21-1103: Bicyclists are not permitted to ride on sidewalks unless local laws permit it. Riders may be allowed to ride through crosswalks.
- § 21-1205: Bicyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as possible when going below the speed of traffic. Exceptions include making a left turn, going down a one-way street, passing a vehicle, when the right lane is a turn lane, and when the lane is too narrow for a car and bicycle to share.
- § 21-1205.1: Bicyclists cannot drive on roads with speed limits over 50 mph. If a bike lane is present, it must typically be used.
- § 21-1206: Bicyclists cannot carry anything that prevents both hands from being on the handlebars.
- § 21-1207: Bikes must have lights and reflectors if it is necessary to see it from 1,000 feet away.
- § 21-1207.1: Helmets are required (an exception is certain circumstances in Ocean City).
- § 21-1210: With few exceptions, bicyclists cannot wear headphones or earplugs that cover both ears.
Drivers of cars have an obligation, from § 21-1209, to avoid colliding with bicyclists. They must leave at least three feet between them and a bicyclist when passing, and must yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist in a bike lane.
Maryland Bicycle Insurance Rules
Bicyclists are entitled to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance to help with medical expenses and lost wages. Typically, the bicyclist will go through the insurance of the negligent driver, unless that driver waived PIP or is a bus, taxicab or motorcycle (most motorcyclists do not have PIP insurance).
If the negligent driver is uninsured or has less insurance than the bicyclist, the bicyclist may rely on his automobile insurance’s uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance to make up the difference.
If you have been involved in a Maryland bicycle accident, contact our personal injury lawyers at 1-800-776-4529, or send us some information about your case through our online contact form. We have helped many victims of bicycle accidents, and we look forward to helping you.
More Maryland Accident Information
- What To Do After An Automobile Accident
- What Is My Maryland Automobile Accident Case Worth?
- Maryland Insurance 101: Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
- Maryland Police Reports