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What are the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists in Texas?

Riding a bicycle is good for your mind, body and the environment. However, bicyclists in Texas face quite a few risks when sharing the road with other vehicles, such as cars and trucks.

As a bicyclist, you must conduct yourself in a safe and responsible manner when sharing the road with others. Passenger vehicles must also maintain a safe and secure environment to prevent severe injuries from occurring. The Texas Department of Transportation explains these rights and duties so you can avoid accidents to the best of your ability.

Traffic laws for bicyclists

Much like any other vehicle on the road, bicyclists must honor prevailing traffic laws and rules. Proper signaling is a major component of safety, and bicyclists must signal any time they are turning or stopping. For example, you indicate left and right turns by stretching either your left or right arm in the direction you intend to turn. When stopping, move your left arm into a downward position.

The rules of the road also state that you must stop at red lights and stop signs. Always ride with the flow of traffic. If you frequently ride at night, outfit your bike with a front light and a red reflector on the back so you are as visible as possible.

Safety rules for drivers

Following traffic laws will not protect you from an accident if drivers conduct themselves inappropriately. Motorists must always remain alert and aware, which can help them recognize your presence on the road.

When approaching a bicycle traveling in the same lane, drivers should make every attempt to provide room. If there are multiple lanes, drivers should safely maneuver into the next lane over to pass the bicyclist safely.