As cycling becomes more and more popular, communities all over the country are grappling with how to manage an increasing number of bicycle-versus-car crashes. There have been several cyclist education and outreach programs in South Carolina aimed at letting people know, before they start pedaling, that they have to obey the same rules of the road motorists follow.
Unfortunately, some novice cyclists and others who simply ignore the rules of the road sometimes act irresponsibly and can get hurt or cause damaging accidents with vehicles on the road. While pedestrians almost always have the right of way, that’s not the case with cyclists. They can be at fault if they cause an auto accident in South Carolina. Cyclists must follow rules of the road Cyclists must ride with traffic and as far right as reasonably possible, according to South Carolina law. They also have to signal turns, yield to oncoming traffic and stop at traffic lights and stop signs, just like cars. At stop signs, they’re supposed to yield to the car to the right if they arrive at the same time as the other vehicle. Hard to spot Sometimes cyclists move quickly, act erratically, disobey the rules of the road, and place themselves in harm’s way. There are countless examples of cyclists hit by automobiles, where the drivers could not have prevented the accident. In those cases, the driver, is not liable for the crash. Sharing the road In reality, cyclists are different from vehicles. And it’s common for drivers to yield to cyclists the way a motorboat captain in the water would yield to a sailboat. However, the cyclist can’t assume a driver will give up his or her right of way at an intersection. If the cyclist does not stop and you hit him with your car, the cyclist is just as responsible as he would have been if he were driving a car and failed to yield the right of way. Caution is key Even though a crash can be the fault of a cyclist in South Carolina, it’s essential that drivers look out for them and be wary of cyclists at intersections. In the end, right of way is only part of the law when it comes to South Carolina auto accidents involving cyclists. If you as a driver could have avoided a crash and didn’t, right of way is irrelevant. Get help If you have been involved in a car crash involving a bicyclist and want to know your rights and options, contact the experienced South Carolina auto accident attorneys at George Sink P.A. Injury Lawyers. We have offices throughout the state and offer free consultations.