Which Side Of The Road Do You Bike On? Here’s What The Law Says!

Cyclists sometimes can be confused as to whether they should face the traffic or go with it. In this guide, we’ll finally clarify what side they should ride on.
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Last updatedLast updated: July 18, 2022
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When it comes to trekking, everyone knows the rule of the game – face the traffic. This means that whatever side of the road you are on, you only trek on the side that allows you to see incoming vehicles quite easily. And this rule was developed for two reasons: to keep pedestrians safe and to reduce the number of roadside accidents.

For this same reason, there is a side that cyclists should ride on. But which side? Unlike the rule for pedestrians, cyclists have it blurry. If you have ever wondered which side of the road do you bike on? Then this article is for you. In this guide, we cover cyclists’ safety on the road, the legal standing on cycling on the road, and why some people might be riding on the wrong side even if they know. So, without any further ado, let’s carry on.

Cyclists’ safety on the road

Which Side Of The Road Do You Bike On? Here's What The Law Says!

Bicyclists are safer (with no regard to opposing studies) on the main road riding with the traffic than on one side of the road. However, if you prefer to remain at a side, choose the right side of the road. It’s the next safe spot.

Cyclists in this guide refer to those that ride motorcycles, bicycles, and any other kind of vehicle with two tires. And throughout this guide, the term ‘rider,’ ‘bicyclist,’ and ‘cyclist’ will be used interchangeably. Also, traffic refers to vehicles (excluding the ones with two tires) on the main road.

Road safety is very paramount Trusted Source Bicycle law in the United States - Wikipedia Bicycle law in the United States is the law of the United States that regulates the use of bicycles. Although bicycle law is a relatively new specialty within the law, first appearing in the late 1980s, its roots date back to the 1880s and 1890s, when cyclists were using the courts to assert a legal right to use the roads. In 1895, George B. Clementson, an American attorney, wrote The Road Rights and Liabilities of Wheelmen, the first book on bicycle law, in which he discussed the seminal cases of the 1880s and 1890s, which were financed by Albert Pope of Columbia Bicycles, and through which cyclists gained the right to the road. en.wikipedia.org to every state Trusted Source State Bike Laws | League of American Bicyclists Riding a bike is a healthy, fun and safe activity. However, it isn’t without some risk. The following information highlights 13 areas of law that may minimize that risk and have the potential to reduce conflicts between bikes and cars (and other traffic). bikeleague.org . There is an obvious need to keep people and vehicles safe on the road at all times. And to do this, numerous road safety laws have been put in place. One of them is about where cyclists should ride their road bikes. It is quite common to see riders ride on both sides of the road, and though the law is not too strict with where they ride, safety has to be considered.

Some organizations argue that bicyclists should remain on the right side of the road (which is in accordance with the flow of traffic), while others argue otherwise.

To ride on the right side might be considered safe until you want to make a left turn. Doing this would interrupt the flow of traffic and could be highly unsafe, especially on busy roads. It could also tackle the aim of going with traffic if a rider is going the other way.

So what then is considered safe? The United Nations Treaty says that cyclists should ride alongside traffic (left or right) on the road. This is tagged as the safest spot for a rider. And though some might argue that this would hinder traffic speed, studies have shown that riders with adequate road bikes do not reduce the speed of a motorist.

Can you get a ticket for riding on the wrong side of the road?

The law guides many of the things we do. It dictates the kind of bike we ride on roads. It also tells us where we should ride our bikes. And the funny thing about laws is that there is a ‘punishment’ for every law that is broken. So, what about breaking the law by riding on the wrong side of the road? Let’s discuss first how intense and strict the law is.

The law concerning riding a bike pours out into different situations and areas. It covers the kind of bike that should be ridden on the road as well as other safety areas. By riding the wrong bike, a rider can be queried. He or she can also be stopped if the bicycle is not in good condition. It’s why we advise that most riders know how to take care of their bikes, including ‘repairing’ the tires.

Which Side Of The Road Do You Bike On? Here's What The Law Says!

In major cities, it is an offense when cyclists ride on the wrong side.

But regarding whether or not one could get a ticket for riding on the wrong side is dependent on where the law was broken. The rules about this are not very intense in the small cities and towns. This means that riders can as well ride on both sides of the road and not be queried. The rules are considered mild because of the few numbers of traffic there.

If a bicyclist moves from a small town to a big city, they have to comply with the state’s rules concerning where to ride. And this is either on the right side or alongside the traffic on the road.

Why do some cyclists ride on the wrong side of the road?

Despite the already existing rule that cyclists should only ride on the right side of the road, some people still prefer to ride their bikes on the wrong side. And the funny thing is that they see it as a safer option. Though some are unaware of the rule that dictates what side you” ll ride on, some do know about the rule and still prefer the wrong side. Why?

There are two reasons: one, the fear of incoming vehicles. And two: being too used o the pedestrian sidewalk. Some riders are scared of being a part of the traffic and would rather stay clear of vehicles completely by sticking to the left side. And others might argue that it is just what they want with no reason at all. Either way, the left side is used by many riders, and the numbers will not be decreasing anytime soon.

Final thoughts

The side of the road that a cyclist rides on is highly important because it adds to the level of road safety Trusted Source Bicycle Safety | NHTSA As you might expect, when a crash occurs between a vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. In this section, you’ll learn bicycle safety tips and rules of the road, from properly fitting your helmet to driving defensively and predictably. Find out what you can do to prevent bicycle injuries and deaths, and remember: A large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other. www.nhtsa.gov in a state. There is always a major confusion as to where riders should ride, and even worse, some people do not feel like much attention should be placed on it. However, there is a designated place for a cyclist to ride his or her bike. This spot is not only safe, but it also makes the traffic smoother with no problem.

So, which side of the road do you bike on? After the entire guide, it is safe to say that the better side is the right side. However, it doesn’t have to be too far right (it can be close to the traffic). Also, the law isn’t too strict about this in small cities and towns. But we would still advise that you get used to riding on the right side so that when you do get to the big city, you won’t get a ticket for riding on the wrong side.

References

1.
Bicycle law in the United States - Wikipedia
Bicycle law in the United States is the law of the United States that regulates the use of bicycles. Although bicycle law is a relatively new specialty within the law, first appearing in the late 1980s, its roots date back to the 1880s and 1890s, when cyclists were using the courts to assert a legal right to use the roads. In 1895, George B. Clementson, an American attorney, wrote The Road Rights and Liabilities of Wheelmen, the first book on bicycle law, in which he discussed the seminal cases of the 1880s and 1890s, which were financed by Albert Pope of Columbia Bicycles, and through which cyclists gained the right to the road.
2.
State Bike Laws | League of American Bicyclists
Riding a bike is a healthy, fun and safe activity. However, it isn’t without some risk. The following information highlights 13 areas of law that may minimize that risk and have the potential to reduce conflicts between bikes and cars (and other traffic).
3.
Bicycle Safety | NHTSA
As you might expect, when a crash occurs between a vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. In this section, you’ll learn bicycle safety tips and rules of the road, from properly fitting your helmet to driving defensively and predictably. Find out what you can do to prevent bicycle injuries and deaths, and remember: A large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other.
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