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Bicycle Right-of-Way Laws in Kentucky

Published on Jun 5, 2018 by Thomas Law Offices.

People ride bikes all the time, but they may not know where they can ride. Cyclists often share the road with motorists, but not knowing if they have to follow the same rules as the motorists can lead to devastating accidents that result in injuries. Bicycle accident injuries tend to be severe because cyclists have next to nothing protecting them from the impact of a crash. These injuries can require professional medical attention and a long recovery period.

You don’t deserve to deal with this on your own—and you don’t have to. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, a Louisville bicycle accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you get compensation that could cover your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

What Laws to Kentucky Cyclists Have to Follow?

Many people may not know where cyclists are supposed to be. Kentucky has clear laws that state where cyclists should ride. Following these laws will help keep cyclists safe from accidents.

  • Bicycles Can Operate the Same as a Motor Vehicle. This rule has three exceptions. Cyclists can ride on the highway shoulder, they have to use the bicycle lane when it’s provided, and there’s a limit of two bicycles that can ride next to each other in a highway lane. Other than these situations, cyclists are expected to obey the same traffic laws as motorists.
  • Motor Vehicles Can’t Drive in a Bike Lane. The only cars that can are Metro Government maintenance vehicles.
  • Cyclists Need to Stop at Red Lights and Stop Signs. Running these will put cyclists in danger of colliding with incoming traffic.
  • Pass on the Left. Cyclists shouldn’t get in the habit of weaving through cars because it’s dangerous. If they need to pass a vehicle, they should do so from the left lane.
  • Signal Turns 50 Feet Before the Turn. Motorists need plenty of time in advance to know that a cyclist is turning.

Cyclists are also supposed to ride in a way that motorists can anticipate. They need to ride in a straight line and stay alert for any problems in the road like potholes or debris. Cyclists need to be aware of the cars around them, including parked cars. These can be an issue with cyclists because they can pull into traffic and the cyclist may not have been paying attention and will collide with the car.

How Do Motorists and Cyclists Share the Road?

Motorists and cyclists are supposed to share the road, but to some this may be easier said than done. If motorists adhere to a few rules, they can easily and safely share the road with cyclists.

  • Pass Cyclists Carefully. For motorists who aren’t used to sharing the road with cyclists, they may not know how to drive around them. First, motorists need to make sure there’s nothing coming up in the road that would make the cyclist turn left and into them. You need to allow three feet between your vehicle and the cyclist and get back in your lane when you’ve safely driven ahead of the cyclist.
  • Watch for Right Turns. If a car and bike are riding closely and the car turns right, there’s a chance the cyclist will collide with the car. Motorists need to make sure they have time to make the turn, or wait for the cyclist to pass.
  • Check for Cyclists Before Opening Your Door. There’s another collision hazard when motorists open their car doors. Check to see if anyone is coming before opening your door.

When everyone has better knowledge of the laws, they can share the road more easily and could potentially reduce the amount of accidents. But in the event of a bike accident, you need someone dependable at your side who will fight for your rights no matter what. Your Louisville bike accident lawyer will investigate the scene of the accident, determine who was at fault, and proceed to do everything to win you a favorable settlement.

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Meet Our Founder

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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