In order to ensure the safety of bicyclists, North Carolina legislators have crafted a set of rules that bicyclists should follow when on the road. The rules are designed to treat bicycles like motor vehicles, because drivers and bicyclists are responsible for ensuring their own safety as well as the safety of others on the roads.
General laws pertaining to bicyclists
North Carolina’s laws pertaining to bicyclists include:
- A bicycle must stay on the right side of the road in the same direction as vehicle traffic.
- A bicyclist must obey traffic signs and signals.
- A bicyclist must use hand signals to communicate his or her intended movements.
- Bicycles must be equipped with a front lamp visible from 300 feet away and a rear reflector visible from 200 feet away when riding at night.
Bicycle helmet laws
The following additional laws relating to bicycle helmets apply specifically to youthful riders:
- Riders under 16 years old must wear a bicycle helmet when bicycling on a public road, path, or other public right-of-way
- Any parent who knowingly permits a child to ride without a helmet can be penalized with a $10 civil fine
While North Carolina bicycle laws are intended to keep bicyclists safe, the roads remain full of reckless or negligent drivers who can cause serious or even fatal injuries to bicyclists.
If you are a bicyclist that has been injured by a driver on the road, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine the strength of your claim. The knowledgeable lawyers at Hensley Cloninger & Greer, P.C. will review all of the details of your case to ensure that you understand the legal options available to you.