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Various traffic laws apply to everyone on North Carolina’s roads, and certain regulations apply specifically to those riding bicycles. If you find yourself involved in a bike wreck caused by a negligent driver, it may be important to understand traffic laws for bicyclists in Raleigh and how they might impact the outcome of an ensuing civil case. Talking to a seasoned bicycle injury attorney could provide you with the knowledge you need to effectively pursue compensation.

How Traffic Laws Apply to Bicycles

Under state law, bicycles are treated the same as cars, so all the same rules that apply to cars apply to bicycles except for speed limits. For example, bicycles must be ridden on roads as opposed to sidewalks, to ensure the safety of both themselves and others. Pedestrians have the right of way according to crosswalk signals, but because bicycles are considered vehicles, they must adhere to traffic lights and signs, yield to other vehicles who have the right of way, and vice versa.

When cyclists abide by the same laws as cars and motorcycles as they travel on roadways, they are more likely to stay safe. Other vehicles are also more likely to see bicyclists if bicyclists are where they are supposed to be on the road and following the same regulations and safety measures. An attorney could go into further detail about how particular regulations prevent bicycle accidents or, as the case may be, play a role in determining recoverable damages if a crash does occur.

Bicycle-Specific Laws in Raleigh

Some streets in downtown Raleigh have specially marked bicycle lanes, and many neighborhoods have designated bicycle lanes. As urban areas grow and people become more environmentally conscious, marked bicycle lanes are quickly becoming roadway norms. Other vehicles are prohibited from driving in bicycle lanes, which also increases safety on the road for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike.

Generally, bicycling on the road is not necessarily unsafe if drivers and riders are adhering to traffic laws and focusing on their surroundings. However, large freeways—such as Interstates 40, 440, and 540—and any roads with restricted access are closed to bicycle traffic.

Regarding how often traffic laws related to bicycles get updated in Raleigh, both the state legislature and local governments address traffic regarding bicycles as needed. Researching reliable news outlets or contacting local law enforcement agencies can help cyclists stay informed of current traffic laws.

The Impact of Contributory Fault

North Carolina adheres to a system of contributory negligence. This means that if a cyclist is found partially at fault for an accident, they may be unable to pursue any compensation for their damages even if another party bore the majority of the fault for the incident in question.

A bicyclist may pursue a claim under applicable traffic laws if they were not at fault for an accident or their injuries and are free from negligence. However, any evidence that they themselves failed to adhere to traffic laws for Raleigh bicyclists may be used against them during their pursuit of compensation.

Talk to an Attorney About Raleigh Bicycling and Traffic Laws

When drivers are accused of negligence leading to a wreck in North Carolina, they may try to allege that the party filing suit against them violated the law as well, meaning they are ineligible to recover compensation due to the state’s contributory negligence system. For this reason, understanding traffic laws for bicyclists in Raleigh may be crucial while attempting to litigate a claim for damages following a bicycle accident. Talk to an experienced bike wreck lawyer today to learn more.