Riding a Bike in Arizona: What Are Your Personal Injury Rights?

September 16, 2021

Bicycling is an activity that many Arizona residents and visitors take part in every day. Whether participating in recreational riding or using a bicycle as a primary method of transportation, the most important thing for both cyclists and vehicle drivers to be aware of is the need for safety. Many people do not realize that Arizona law affords bicyclists the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. Here, we want to review the laws and rights of cyclists in this state because these laws play an important part in determining liability if an accident occurs.

Bicyclists Have the Same Rights on the Roadway

Bicyclists have the right to be on the roadway in just about every situation in Arizona. However, bicyclists are also required to follow the same traffic laws as vehicles. This includes:

  • Stopping for traffic lights and stop signs.
  • Yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks and on sidewalks.
  • Properly changing lanes by yielding to any traffic already there and by signaling turns with appropriate arm signals.
  • Riding in the right-hand lane if moving slower than normal traffic speed or as close as practical to the right edge of the road (except when preparing to turn left or when passing).
  • A bicyclist must pull over to the first safe pullout to allow vehicles to pass if riding on a two-lane road and they have five more vehicles behind them.

Bicyclists are required to use a white headlight and red reflector if they are operating before sunrise or after sunset. They must also have one brake capable of making the wheel skid when applied. Bicyclists are required to have at least one hand on the handlebars at all times, and they may not attach their bicycle to, or hold onto, any other vehicle on the roadway. Bicyclists are allowed to ride two abreast in one lane.

Liability in a Bicycle Versus Vehicle Crash

Determining liability in the aftermath of a bicycle versus vehicle crash is incredibly important, and will be accomplished much the same way as in a vehicle versus vehicle crash. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer will be able to help gather the evidence necessary to prove liability, which can include:

  • Photo or video surveillance that may be available
  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the crash
  • Police reports

Bicycle Accidents Are Not Uncommon in Arizona

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents that lead to injuries or fatalities are a reality across the state. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 1,842 total reported bicycle accidents during the latest year of data available across the state. Out of those incidents, there were 30 bicyclist fatalities and 1,259 bicyclist injuries. This data shows that a high percentage of all bicycle crashes in Arizona result in some sort of injury or fatality.

It is important that drivers of vehicles in Arizona understand that bicyclists must be treated like other vehicles. Unfortunately, vehicle drivers often fail to give bicyclists the space they deserve, and they often assume that the bicyclist does not have any right of way. This can lead to devastating crashes.

So, if you are injured in a collision while riding your bicycle, do not hesitate to call our bicycle accident attorneys for a free consultation regarding your rights to compensation. Call us today at (602) 726-0747.

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