Maryland Bicycle Accident Laws

Traffic laws apply to bicycles in the same way as they do to all other vehicles that utilize the roadways in Maryland. This means that bicyclists are required to conform to the rules of the road just as any other motor vehicle is required to do so.

With that said, some distinct laws do apply to the use of bicycles in Maryland. Often, the utilization of sidewalks can be determined by the state and the county and, in some instances, a municipality may have different rules and regulations regarding the use of a bicycle.

It is important for anyone who chooses to use a bicycle to be familiar with the rules and regulations that are applicable to a jurisdiction where the bicycle will be used, and consult with a Maryland bike accident attorney if injured.

Maryland Bicycle Regulations

In the state of Maryland, there are regulations regarding the use of a bicycle on a sidewalk. In each county in Maryland, the counties are free to change the law from the state as it pertains to the use of a bicycle on a sidewalk.

Furthermore, municipalities within a county are free to enact additional rules and regulations regarding the use of bicycles on a sidewalk. Thus, there can be three different variations for the use of a bicycle on a sidewalk, depending on where the bicycle is being operated and tested at any particular time.

It is important for bicyclists to follow traffic laws because they are designed to ensure a certain level of safety for people operating vehicles on the roadway. Traffic control devices, such as a red light or a stop sign, are designed to allow a safe flow of traffic in the roadways. Thus, if someone does not conform to the Maryland bicycle laws of the road, they not only put themselves in danger but also the other vehicles on the roadway.

Bicycles vs. Motorcycles

Bicycles are human-propelled, whereas motorcycles are operated by an engine. There are different rules and regulations regarding the licensure and registration of a bicycle as opposed to a motorcycle. Any person choosing to operate any particular type of vehicle in Maryland should be familiar with the rules and regulations regarding the use of that vehicle, whether it is a bicycle, a motorcycle, or a motor vehicle.

There is a licensing requirement for the use of a motorcycle in Maryland, whereas there is no such requirement for the use of a bicycle. Overall, the rules of the road and the traffic regulations apply equally to both bicycles and motorcycles.

Negligence

Cases involving bicycles are evaluated based on the facts and circumstances of the individual case. Many of the cases are evaluated in much the manner regardless of whether it involves a bicycle, a motorcycle, or a motor vehicle in that all persons are required to conform to the rules and regulations of the road. Also, in all instances, a contributory negligence evaluation is done regardless of the nature and extent of injuries that are sustained, even in the case of death.

If it is determined that a bicyclist injured in a collision was not following the rules or regulations in the state of Maryland, they may be found contributorily negligent. This would mean that the injured bicyclist cannot recover from their injuries, regardless of how badly injured the bicyclist is or even if the bicyclist is killed in a collision.

Staying Updated on Laws

Anyone operating a bicycle in Maryland is required to know the rules and regulations regarding the operation. Whenever the law changes in Maryland, Maryland publishes the change in the law so that the general public is aware much like it does for changes of the traffic laws regarding the use of cellphones while driving and where they are publicized.

Any change regarding the use of a bicycle will also be publicized in such a way that members of the public are aware. Anyone who chooses to operate a bicycle is also under an obligation to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations regarding the operation of the bicycle. Should someone be involved in a collision while using a bicycle, they cannot offer as a defense or an excuse that they were unaware of the law and the rules and requirements regarding the use of bicycles in Maryland. A mistake of law is not a defense to a violation of the rules and regulations.