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What rights do I have as a cyclist in North Carolina?

Motorists often fail to give people on bikes the respect or space they need on North Carolina roads. Too often, the result is a collision that leaves the cyclist with severe injuries.

While some motorists may act like the road belongs to them, the law holds otherwise. In North Carolina, bicycles are vehicles. As a cyclist, you have the same rights and must follow the same traffic laws as motorists.

If the driver of a car, truck or motorcycle fails to yield to you when you have the right of way, and you are injured as a result, you have the right to seek full compensation for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The following summarizes the rules of the road for North Carolina bicyclists:

If you are riding at nighttime, your bike should be equipped with a light in front that is visible from 300 feet away. The rear of your bike should contain a reflector that is visible from 200 feet away.

Children under the age of 16 are required to wear helmets.

Ride in the same direction as traffic and as close as practical to the right side of the roadway. Of course, you will need to be on the left side of the roadway when turning left or when going around an obstacle on the right side.

You can ride on the roadway or off it. When riding on the sidewalk, be respectful of pedestrians.

If the roadway contains a bicycle path, you can ride within the bike lane or in the main traffic lane, wherever you feel safer.

The law firm of Farris & Farris PA in Wilson, North Carolina, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your rights after a bicycle accident.

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