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Do Bicyclists Have to Follow New York Traffic Laws?

If you or a loved one were involved in an automobile accident with someone on a bicycle, you may have serious questions and concerns over being accused of causing the collision. The number of people riding bicycles as a regular form of transportation is on the rise in New York, and the number of bicycle accidents that occur every year is also significant. Unfortunately, many bicycle riders’ failure to acknowledge and/or abide by New York traffic laws contributes to serious and even fatal accident injuries.

According to, you and other New York motorists are not the only ones required to follow state traffic guidelines. Bicycle riders are subject to all in the same rules and regulations as vehicle operators, and are also obligated to abide by a number of bicycle-specific mandates. Some of the rules that all bicyclists and motorists must follow include but are not limited to:

  •          Stopping at crosswalks for pedestrians.
  •          Abiding by all traffic signs and signals.
  •          Riding with the flow of traffic on one and two-way streets.
  •          Never operating any kind of vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Beyond following the above-mentioned traffic guidelines, bicycle riders are also obligated to abide by certain riding standards. For instance, any cyclist in an accident involving injury or property damage is expected to file a report with authorities. Commercial bicycle riders should always wear required safety and identification tools, and all bicycles should be equipped with proper lighting and reflective gear.

If the bicycle rider involved in your accident failed to make him or herself appropriately visible to other motorists or otherwise disobeyed New York traffic laws, you may have a solid defense case. However, the general information provided here may not apply to your collision and cannot be used as legal counsel.

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