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Baltimore, MD Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The Baltimore region is a popular with bicyclists but experiences a growing number of accidents
Bicycling is becoming more popular in the Baltimore region. Learn more about bicycling in the Baltimore area at the Baltimore Bicycling Club website.
Despite safety improvements, bicycle accidents are common in Baltimore
According to Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, in 2012, 726 lost their lives in bicycle/motor vehicle crashes nationally, just under two people every day of the year in the U.S. The death rate from bicycle crashes is high due to the relative lack of protection bicyclists have in an impact with a motor vehicle.
Bicycling Laws in Maryland
Baltimore traffic-safety laws are designed to allow bicyclists to share the road safely with motor vehicles in an increasingly crowded space.
According to the State of Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles:
Traffic Laws for Motorists The driver of a vehicle passing another vehicle, including a bicycle, must pass at a safe distance and leave plenty of space. The driver should be able to see the passed vehicle in the rear view mirror before returning to the original lane. After passing a driver must make sure they are clear of the bicyclist before making any turns. The driver of a vehicle must not pass any closer than three (3) feet to a bicycle or motor scooter if the bicycle is operated in a lawful manner. It is not lawful to ride against traffic. The bicycle has the right-of-way when the motor vehicle is making a turn, and motorists must yield to bicyclists. Motorists must yield the right-of-way to bicyclists riding in bike lanes and shoulders when these vehicle operators are entering or crossing occupied bike lanes and shoulders. When riding on a sidewalk—where such riding is permitted—or a bike path, a bicyclist may ride in a crosswalk to continue on their route. Motorists are required to yield right-of-way to a bicyclist operating lawfully in a crosswalk. Drivers must look for bicycles coming from both directions. A person may not throw any object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter. A person may not open the door of any motor vehicle with intent to strike, injure, or interfere with any person riding a bicycle, an EPAMD, or a motor scooter. Failing to yield right-of-way to a bicyclist, resulting in a crash in which the bicyclist is seriously injured, can result in a $1,000 fine and three points on a driving record.
Traffic Laws for Bicyclists Maryland’s traffic laws apply to bicycles and motor scooters. A bicycle may not carry a passenger unless it is specifically designed for and equipped with a seat for each passenger. Bicycles, motor scooters, and EPAMDs are not permitted on any roads where the speed limit is more than 50 miles per hour (MPH) or higher. A person riding a bicycle shall ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable and safe, except when: -Making or attempting to make a left turn; -Operating on a one-way street; -Passing a stopped or slower moving vehicle; -Avoiding pedestrians or road hazards; -The right lane is a right turn only lane; or -Operating in a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane. Where there is a bike lane, a person must use those and not ride a bicycle or motor scooter in the roadway except: -If passing safely cannot be done within the bike lane or shoulder; -When preparing for a left turn; -To avoid hazards; or -When the bike lane is also a right-turn or merge lane. A person riding a bicycle or motor scooter may not cling to any vehicle on the roadway. A motor scooter may not be operated at a speed in excess of 30 MPH. An EPAMD may not be operated at a speed in excess of 15 MPH. A person cannot carry anything that prevents them from keeping both hands on the handlebars or that interferes with the view or balance of their bicycle, motor scooter, or EPAMD.
Get information on bicycle crashes from the Baltimore Police Department
The Baltimore Police Department offers information on accidents, and also provides information on filing a police report and on obtaining a police report. Maryland's Department of Motor Vehicles provides information on traffic and safety laws.
Baltimore bicycle crashes have common causes and deadly outcomes
While helmets and proper reflective gear make bicycling safer, riding a bicycle is riskier than driving a car. Maintaining control is more difficult on two wheels, and when collisions happen, bicyclists are at greater risk of serious injury or death because they don't have an enclosed vehicle for protection.
Common causes of bicycle crashes include:
- Motorist turning across path of cyclist;
- Cyclist riding into the path of a motor vehicle;
- Cyclist turning right from a major road and from a minor road;
- Child cyclist playing or riding too fast.
When someone is injured in a Baltimore bicycle accident, what needs to happen next?
In an injury bike crash, it is crucial to get appropriate medical treatment, regardless of the financial cost. The major hospitals in the area include:
As soon as possible, an injured person should contact their insurance company to find out how medical treatment is covered under their insurance policy. Since insurance policies often have unique provisions to deal with bicycle-accident injuries, it is important to review the policy and speak with the insurance adjuster to get clarification on coverage.
Personal injury lawyers offer a no-cost claim evaluation to help you.
Since there is no cost to speak with a lawyer, it is a good idea to learn more about your potential personal injury claim. Accident Data Center can help you by connecting you with our network of experienced injury lawyers who can provide you with information about your rights and options. Learn more here about the value of a no-cost legal claim evaluation.