Arizona Cyclists Must Follow Rules of the Road

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According to the most recent bicycle accident fact sheet published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 677 cyclists died after being hit by motor vehicles in 2011 and cycling accidents resulted in approximately 38,000 injuries. While these numbers are significantly lower than the statistics compiled in 1995, even more deaths and injuries could be prevented simply by following proper cycling safety protocols.

Bike safety laws

Cyclists in Arizona are required to both follow both the rules of the road that apply to cars — such as stopping at red lights and stop signs — as well as specific bicycle safety laws such as:

  • Using a white headlight and a red rear reflector when cycling when dark
  • Yielding to pedestrians on sidewalks
  • Making special arm signals when turning
  • Riding as closely as possible to the right side of the road
  • Using a bike that has proper brakes and handlebars

The Arizona Office of Highway Safety advises riders to follow certain basic safety protocols including wearing a helmet, wearing reflective clothing, regularly inspecting their bikes and carrying books and personal items in either a specialized carrier or a backpack.

Consequences of not being careful

Failing to follow appropriate safety precautions and safety laws can expose you to serious injury and can make it more difficult for you to receive adequate compensation for any injuries you sustain. This is because of the rule of comparative negligence. Under this principle, if you are responsible for causing your injury or making it worse, then your damages may be eliminated or reduced. For example, if you fail to wear a helmet and suffer a brain injury that could have been prevented by wearing one, you may end up uncompensated or undercompensated for your injuries.