Bicycling is a popular form of transportation in and around the Charleston community. College students bike to class, employees bike to work, and with the warm weather hitting the Lowcountry, it’s hard to beat a bike ride around town. Unfortunately, since bicyclists share the road with automobiles, these bike rides can often be dangerous.
It is important for bicyclists and automobile operators to understand the laws of the road as listed in Section 56, Article 27 in the South Carolina Code of laws.
Here are some important points:
- Drivers must maintain safe operating distances between their automobiles and bicycles on the road.
- It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle
- A Bicycle lane is defined as “a portion of the roadway or a paved lane separated from the roadway that has been designated by striping, pavement markings, and signage for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists.”
- Motor vehicles may not block the bicycle lane to oncoming bicycle traffic and must yield to a bicyclist in the lane before entering or crossing.
- Bicycles are required to ride in the bicycle lane except for when necessary to pass another person riding a bicycle or to avoid an obstruction in the bicycle lane.
- If there is no bicycle lane, a bicyclist should ride as near to the right side of the roadway as possible. If there is a shoulder available, the bicyclist may ride on the shoulder.
- When biking at night, a bicycle must have a lamp on the front and a red reflector on the rear.
- If an automobile driver violates this article, they are subject to a fine of up to $100 if there is no injury to the bicyclist or a fine of $1000 if the bicyclist undergoes great bodily injury.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents:
- A driver turns in front of a bicyclist causing the bike and the automobile to collide
- An automobile parks and a driver or passenger opens his or her car door and hits the bicyclist
- A driver pulls out of a driveway or parking lot into the path of the bicyclist
- A driver hits a cyclist from behind
It is important for both bicyclists and automobile drivers to understand these rules and common scenarios so to prevent accidents.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and are seeking compensation, contact the Peper Law Firm today