Right-of-Way Rules for Bicyclists

All vehicles, even bicycles, must follow the right-of-way rules to safely cross intersections.

Did you know, in 2011 677 bicyclists were killed and 48,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes? Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities.

The majority of bicyclist fatalities in 2011 occurred between the hours of 4pm and 7:59pm. Bicyclists ages 45-54 have the highest fatality rate. The highest injury rate for bicyclists occurred in the 16-20 age group.

Here are some right-of-way rules to help you ride safely around the city:

  • Base Rule:First to Stop=First to Go. The first vehicle at the intersection goes through the intersection first.
  • If Base Rule Does Not Apply: Farthest Right Goes First. When two vehicles get to the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right always goes first.
  • If Neither Rules Apply: Straight Traffic Goes First. When two vehicles are directly across from each other and one is turning left, the one that is going straight goes first.
  • When In Doubt, Bail Out:This Trumps All Rules. Even if you have the right-of-way, if for some reason you feel uncomfortable or that your safety is threatened, let the other traffic go ahead. Your safety always comes first.

Visit the NHTSA website to print out activity handouts and props to play with your teenagers to teach them about right-of-way safety!

If your or a loved one have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, contact us immediately.