As a bicyclist, you need to watch out for motorists at all times. You are at a disadvantage safety-wise due to the fact that you are not inside a 4,000-pound vehicle with numerous airbags. If a driver crashes into you, it can easily result in severe injuries or death.
In order to be as safe as possible while you are biking in Ohio, you must know the laws that apply to you and drivers. Here are some of the most notable laws involving bikes and vehicles.
A lot of people think that bicyclists must stay in bike lanes at all times, but this is not the case. You are free to leave a bike lane if you need to make turns, avoid debris, pass other bicyclists or pass stopped buses. The law requires you to use hand signaling when passing buses on the left.
Sharing the road
Contrary to what many drivers believe, bicyclists have permission on all public highways and streets except for limited access freeways. As a bicyclist, you have the right to take up an entire lane. Of course, you have a duty to follow all the traffic rules that motorists do and travel with traffic.
It can be frustrating when drivers get too close to you while switching lanes. But the law is on your side as a cyclist. Motorists must give you at least three feet of distance while passing you. Drivers can pass you by crossing a double-yellow line as long as the other lane is free of oncoming cars.
A driver must use a turn signal continuously for at least 100 feet before changing lanes or turning. As a cyclist, you should signal your intention to turn once. You do not need to signal if you need both hands to safely operate your bike.
If all drivers and cyclists do their best to follow these laws, the roads will be much safer.