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Cycling Accidents at Intersections: Who is at Fault?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Accidents at intersections are the most common cycling accidents throughout the world. As many cars don’t know how to share the road with a cyclist, they often neglect to pay attention to them, leading to a number of tragic accidents. However, who is at fault? In most states, cyclists have to follow the same rules of the road as a car does. So if a cyclist doesn’t follow the rules, could they be at just as much fault as the car that wasn’t paying attention?

Right of Way When There Are No Traffic Signals

When two people approach an intersection and there are no traffic signals, the vehicle (including a bicycle) that arrives first has the right of way. If two vehicles somehow end up there at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way. This also counts for intersections with stop signs. So if you were riding your bicycle and were clearly the first to arrive, you still have the right of way, because you do count as a vehicle.

Right of Way When There Are Traffic Signals

Unlike other intersections, crossing an intersection with traffic lights safely can be pretty tricky. Sometimes a bicycle is not able to trigger the signal sensors so the light may effectively stay red until a car comes along. If you are trying to cross at one of these intersections, you are given two options: try to trigger the sensors or wait until it is safe to cross against a light. To be clear, if you are unable to set the sensors off and choose to cross, if you get hit, it will still be the fault of the cyclist in most common cases.

If you have been in a cycling accident and aren’t sure who was at fault for it, contact us today. We can help you sort out the legal details and make sure you get the justice that cyclists deserve.


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