The state of Washington expects bicyclists to follow the same laws as motor vehicles and therefore treats them the same way in the event of an accident. Under RCW 46.61.755, a bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a vehicle, which means they must respect the same rules as drivers, including traffic signs, right of way, and cell-phone use. If bicyclists fail to do this, then they may be subject to penalties and will be held responsible for any accident that they cause.
It is important to note that bicycles have additional rules that they need to follow. For example, there are some highways that are closed to bikers for their own safety. These may include high speed freeways or areas that are under construction. Bicyclists also should be aware that there are safety requirements for night riding. According to RCW 46.61.780, all bicycles should have a light that produces visibility for 100 feet in front of them and a rear red light that is visible 600 feet behind them.
Cyclists that are riding in traffic are supposed to stay in the right lane of traffic if they are going at a slower speed. If it is a one way street, then they may also ride to the far left. They are also are permitted to ride side by side, but only two abreast, except on bike paths or roadways that are specifically for bicycles (RCW 46.61.770)
If you have been in an accident with a bicyclist, it may not be your fault. Speak to a Seattle personal injury lawyer at Ward Smith, PLLC to find out if you can recover damages for your accident. We have almost 50 years of combined legal experience, so you can rest assured that we can competently handle your case.
Contact our firm as soon as you can for more details.