Texas Bicycle Laws: What You Need To Know
Posted in Driving Safety Tips on August 25, 2020
Riding a bicycle on Texas roads can be dangerous, especially if you are cycling near cars, trucks, and other large motor vehicles. To protect cyclists from injury, the Texas Transportation Code outlines specific rules and regulations each person who rides a bicycle must follow when riding. Understanding these laws can help prevent harm during your bicycle rides, or protect your best interests if you are in an accident with a motorist who violates them.
Texas Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s (DOT) safety initiative Share the Road, bicycle collisions are common throughout the state. Between 2010 and 2016, there were 16,807 bicycle crashes throughout Texas, and two-thirds of these crashes occurred on city streets.
Out of the accidents that occurred between 2010 and 2016, 9,769 resulted in injuries and 362 were fatal. 11% of cyclists involved in these accidents were under the age of 15, and 13% were between the ages of 16 and 25..
Bicycle Traffic Laws in Texas
In Texas, bicycles are only allowed to operate on streets, roadways, special bike paths, and other areas specifically designated for cycling. Since bicycles are considered vehicles, you have the same duties as drivers who operate regular motor vehicles.
As a result, you must obey the traffic signs and signals on roadways, including stop signs and traffic lights. If you are operating your bicycle in a shared-use area — or an area with other vehicles and pedestrians — you will need to adhere to the following rules.
- You should use caution when passing a motor vehicle. If you pass another cyclist or a pedestrian, you must give him or her audible notice before passing.
- If you are cycling on a roadway and moving slower than the other vehicles, you must ride as close to the right curb or right edge of the road as possible. If you are on a one-way street with two or more lanes, you must ride as close to the left curb as possible.
- You have the right to use the full lane on a roadway if you are passing another vehicle driving in the same direction, you are about to turn left or into a driveway, there are unsafe conditions on the road you want to ride around, or the lane is too narrow for a cyclist and a motor vehicle to share it.
- Your bicycle must have functioning brakes, and if you cycle at night, you must equip your bike with a headlamp and a red rear reflector.
- If you are sharing a lane with another cyclist, you may ride two abreast as long as you are not blocking the normal traffic flow. This means you and the other cyclist ride side by side in the same lane.
What Happens If You Are in a Bicycle Accident?
While Texas’s bicycle laws aim to prevent motor vehicle-cyclist collisions, hundreds of these accidents still occur throughout the state each year. The aftermath of a bicycle crash can be scary and painful; you may face serious financial strain and physical pain, as well as psychological trauma.
If you are in an accident with a motor vehicle driver and he or she broke a traffic law in the process, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You can file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver to collect funds for medical care, property damage, lost wages, and more.
To determine if you are eligible for this type of action, speak to a McAllen car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will investigate and evaluate your claim, advising you on your best steps forward.