Maryland has several new bicycle laws that are now in effect. Lawmakers are hoping that this will decrease the number of traffic that occur each year. According to preliminary data, Maryland State Police says that 10 people were killed in Maryland bicycle accidents in 2009. Over 650 bicyclists are injured in the state each year.
Per the new laws:
• Except for on roads that are too narrow, drivers must give cyclists three feet of clearance when passing them.
• Bicyclists do not have to ride on the shoulder of the road.
• Bicyclists can use crosswalks in areas where they are allowed to use the sidewalk.
Also, bike paths or sidewalks in areas that are currently considered a safety risk will be added or enhanced when necessary. Balanced funding for pedestrian and cycling facilities will be provided.
It is important that drivers and bicyclists remember that they share the roads with one another. A bicyclist is often at a disadvantage and at high risk of injury during a traffic crash. A bike helmet and protective clothing often are not enough to prevent a cyclist from sustaining broken bones, a head injury, a back injury, a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, or some other serious injuries. Our Baltimore injury lawyers are familiar with the toll that getting hurt in a Maryland can have on the victim and their families.
Steps that drivers can use to avoid becoming involved in a Baltimore bicycle accident:
• Obey the laws.
• Be on the look out for bicyclists while driving and when getting out of a parked car.
• Slow down when overtaking a bicyclist.
• Be extra careful when there are child bicyclists.
New Maryland bike and cycling laws, Examiner, October 4, 2010
New Bicycle Laws Take Effect Friday, October 1, Southern Maryland Online, October 1, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Bicycle Safety, Choose Safety for Life
Traffic Safety Laws, Department of Transportation: State Highway Administration
Contact our Owing Mills personal injury law firm today.