Biking Through Reno – Know The Rules, Know Your Rights

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As the weather gets warmer, we’ll see more bicyclists out and about, sometimes on main roads. Bicyclists have the same rights and the same responsibilities as other drivers in Nevada; they can also cause harm if they are not being cautious of their surroundings.

This is why it’s important to know both the rules as a bicyclist and as a motorist.

Rules For Motorists:

  • Be aware and check your surroundings.
  • When passing a bicyclist, you must move into an adjacent lane to the left if possible. If not, you must pass with at least 3 feet of clearance between your car and the bicycle. Safe passing is the motorist’s responsibility. (NRS 484B.270)
  • Yield to cyclists at intersections as you would for other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Do not drive or park in designated bicycle lanes or paths unless you are turning or in an emergency.

For Bicyclists:

  • Ride to the right, unless you are preparing to turn left or are able to match the speed of traffic.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Use hand signals for turns and stops.
  • Bike helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent when worn correctly. (NHTSA)
  • Get the correct size bicycle and helmet. Purchasing bikes or helmets that you or your loved ones can “grow into” is not safe.
  • See and be seen when riding a bicycle at night. Wear reflective clothing. Bicycles ridden at night must have a white lamp in the front visible from at least 500 feet away, a red tail reflector visible in a vehicle’s low beams from 300 feet away, reflective material on the sides of the bike visible in low beams from at least 600 feet away, or a lamp visible from both sides from 500 feet away. (NRS 484B.783)

If you are injured by a motor vehicle or bicyclist, you may have the right to pursue and collect monetary damages for your pain and suffering, physical injuries and consequent medical expenses, as well as lost wages. In addition, if you are struck by a car or motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, your own auto insurance may provide benefits through “medical payments” coverage or through “underinsured/uninsured” motorist coverage.

Whether these apply or not is determined by the terms and conditions of your auto insurance policy. So if you have these coverages and are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to make a claim with your own auto insurance company to recover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering or disability.

For a full list of Reno’s bike laws, visit http://www.reno.gov/residents/sustainability/bicycling-around-reno/bike-laws.

Local law firm, Winter Street Law Group, can help you in legal disputes where injuries suffered by an individual were caused by another’s negligence. Call for a free consultation: 775-786-5800.

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