It’s not officially spring in Arkansas, but the warmer, longer days have many people shedding their heavy coats and emerging from their winter hibernation (we’re looking at you, Netflix!). You’ll begin to see many more bike riders out and about in the next few weeks.
Whether you admire their commitment to health or just wish they’d get out of your way, there are laws in Arkansas that govern how car drivers should interact with cyclists, and vice versa. Odds are, some of these will come as a surprise:
1. Bikes are not vehicles, but…
In Arkansas, bicycles are not defined as “vehicles,” but bicycle riders are granted all the rights and duties of a vehicle driver. That means that a cyclist must yield for pedestrians, stop at intersections, and signal (using arm signals) when making a turn.
2. Share the road:
Except for freeways and controlled-access highways, cyclists can use any public road, street, or highway, just as cars do. So yelling “get on the sidewalk” to a bike rider in your lane is not just rude; it’s also incorrect.
3. Speaking of sidewalks:
Many states have laws prohibiting bike riders from riding on sidewalks. Many people have been injured in accidents where cyclists collided with pedestrians on a sidewalk. In Arkansas, however, there is no state law governing this. The cities of Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Maumelle all have ordinances to keep bikers off the sidewalks and on the road. Check with your local town to see if there are local ordinances.
4. Give me three:
As a car driver in Arkansas, you are required to keep three feet between you and a bicycle rider at all times. This is especially important when passing. If you can’t stay three feet away as you pass, wait until the road widens or traffic thins out. Ask any bike rider; they can attest to the scary feeling of having a car THISclose as it swerves around them. The 3 Feet Rule is law in 26 states, including Arkansas.
5. No cutting corners:
Since bike riders follow the same rules as drivers, this means you can’t cut them off to turn in front of them. Bicycles move more quickly than you might think, and jumping in front of them (only to slow down and make a turn) often results in a collision. If a bike is to your right and you want to turn, wait until they pass and then move over.
Bicycle Accident? Call Taylor King Law
If you or someone you love are injured in a bicycle accident due to the actions of a car driver, you may have legal rights to compensation. The experienced Arkansas injury lawyers at Taylor King Law are ready to help. Call us today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK to begin your FREE consultation and get answers to your questions. Don’t let time run out on your legal rights.