As the month of June begins, we are ever closer to the official start of the summer season. The warm weather combined with the beautiful Oregon scenery will bring many people outdoors with their bicycles, especially in bike-friendly Portland. Unfortunately, more bicyclists on the road increase the risk of bicycle accidents.
Bicyclists in Oregon are protected under the state’s Vulnerable User Law. Oregon Revised Statute 801.605 defines a “vulnerable user of a public way” as: a pedestrian, a highway worker, a person riding an animal or a person operating any of the following on a public way, crosswalk or shoulder of the highway: 1) A farm tractor or implement of husbandry; 2) A skateboard; 3) Roller skates; 4) In-line skates; 5) A scooter; or 6) A bicycle.
If a driver endangers any of the aforementioned persons by reckless, careless, or negligent actions, they may be held liable for the accidents and injuries they cause. However, this does not mean a bicyclist does not have to obey biking and road laws themselves. Like motorists, if a bicyclist violates road laws, they too may suffer penalties.
As experienced Portland bike accident lawyers, we urge bicyclists in Oregon to practice lawful and safe cycling in order to prevent a serious bike accident injury. Following these rules and tips will help keep you safe on the road:
- Ride in a bike lane/path or on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic;
- Keep off of sidewalks;
- Be alert for cars entering and exiting driveways;
- Use hand signals when turning or stopping;
- Do not carry passengers if the bicycle is not designed to do so;
- Bike in a straight line;
- Wear reflective clothing and outfit your bicycle with a white headlight and red tail reflector if riding at night;
- Wear visible, bright-colored clothing during daytime riding;
- Always wear protective headgear;
- Never bike on a highway; and
- Maintain a car door’s length away from parked cars to prevent being “doored.”
Following these guidelines will help keep you safe while you cycle this summer. If you are, however, injured in an Oregon bike accident, our attorneys at Shulman DuBois, LLC can help you understand your legal rights and answer any questions you may have. Call us today at 503-222-4411.