The traffic laws of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are intended to help ensure that bicyclists can remain safe while riding on public thoroughfares. As such, there are regulations that apply to motorists as well as bicyclists. It is important everyone obey these laws as doing otherwise can lead to very serious accidents.
As a cyclist, it is important for you to understand that you have both rights and responsibilities. A bicyclist is like any road user and has to deal with other traffic. You must employ hand signals to indicate your maneuvers and obey all traffic signals. Riding on sidewalks is strictly forbidden. Also, when riding during the hours of dusk until dawn, you are legally required to have a red rear reflector and a white front light on your bicycle.
Whenever possible, it is preferable to stick to the bike lanes, but if no bike lane is available, locate the safest place to ride. When you are on the streets, you want to ride in a manner that allows motorists to predict your movements, which you can do by riding straight and using hand signals. You don’t want to weave around or dodge into the path of moving vehicles.
On the other hand, motorists must respect your right to be on the road. This means they should give you plenty of space to move safely. Drivers should never crowd you or do anything else that puts you in unnecessary danger. The fact is, as a bicyclist, you are completely exposed and any impact from a car or other vehicle could result in a severe injury.
A bicyclist who is struck by a car may suffer serious, life-altering injuries such as broken bones, paralysis or a traumatic brain injury. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney may be able to help you get appropriate compensation. The attorney could help you determine the level of recompense you will require and work to hold the negligent driver liable.