Four cyclists in Spartanburg County are recovering after a hit and run on Christmas Eve. All bicyclists were thrown from their bikes during the impact. One of them requiring an emergency airlift to the hospital. These type of accidents have become a growing issue all over the state, but could decrease if drivers were more informed of state regulations.
South Carolina law states that a person riding a bicycle on the road has equal rights as a driver in a car but there are rules that both must abide by.
Bicycle lanes have been added along many roads to ensure that bicyclists have a safe way of commuting. When there is a bicycle lane, motor vehicles on the road next to it are prohibited from blocking the lane and must yield at all times to a bicyclist that needs to enter the bicycle lane. Additionally, cyclists must ride in the lane if available and can only ride on the road to pass another bicyclist or escape something that is blocking the bicycle lane.
When a bicycle lane is not available, cyclists have a duty to ride as far to the right in the lane as possible. Cyclists are permitted to ride on the shoulder of the road, but they are not mandated to do so. If for any reason the right lane is impassable, cyclists are permitted to ride a different lane.
When riding on roads, cyclists are prohibited from riding more than two in shoulder, unless they are on a bicycle path or in a bicycle lane. A cyclist can be fined up to $500 if found not seating on the bicycle seat or if carrying another person without an additional seat. They are also prohibited from carrying anything with both hands while riding a bicycle
Cyclists are vulnerable on the road and should also always be careful when passing any vehicles. They are also required to always use the appropriate hand signals when turning and stopping. It is a crime for a driver to yell at a cyclist to get out of their way while sharing the same road under any circumstances. The fine for harassing or yelling at a cyclist is $250 or more or serve up to 30 days in jail.
Contrary to motor vehicles, bicycles are not equipped with turn signals, which is why it is especially dangerous while turning and why it is so important for bicyclists to use the appropriate hand signals to communicate their intentions. For additional safety at night, the bicycle must have a light on the front that is visible from at least 500 feet and must have a red reflector on the rear that’s visible from 50 to 300 feet away.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a car while riding a bicycle, please contact the Charleston bicycle accident lawyers of the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800.