Available 24/7 Free Consultations
(503) 272-8986
Request Free Consultation

Do Bicyclists Always Have the Right of Way? What Important Road Rules Should They Follow?

Posted on November 22, 2021 in

Right-of-way laws are very important, especially for Portland cyclists. These rules control the flow of traffic and help prevent accidents. Because cyclists lack the same protections as motor vehicles, any collision between the two can result in very severe injuries and extensive damages. To stay safe on the road, it is important for cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians to understand Oregon traffic laws and adhere to right-of-way rules.

Oregon Right-of-Way Rules for Cyclists

When riding on a roadway, Portland cyclists have a duty to follow the same right-of-way laws as motorists. Cyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians, stop at stop signs, and obey traffic lights and signals. 

As of January 1st, 2020, Oregon also enforces a Stop as Yield law. In most states, cyclists must come to a full stop at a stop sign and wait until he or she has the right of way to cross. In Oregon, however, cyclists are allowed to treat the stop sign as a yield sign. 

If there is no cross traffic or pedestrians in the intersection, cyclists can do any of the following.

  • Proceed through the intersection without stopping
  • Make a right or left turn onto a two-way street
  • Make a right or left turn onto a one-way street in the same direction as traffic

When Can Cyclists Ride in the Roadway?

If a bicycle path or bicycle lane is adjacent to the roadway, the cyclist must ride on that lane or path. However, a cyclist is not required to comply with this law unless a state or local authority has deemed it safe for bicycles to ride at a reasonable speed. 

Cyclists are also allowed to move out of the bicycle lane or path to perform the following functions.

  • To avoid debris or road hazards
  • To safely pass another vehicle, bicycle, or pedestrian
  • While preparing to take a legal right turn
  • While preparing to take a legal left turn at an intersection or into a private driveway or road

Roads for Oregon Cyclists on Sidewalks

Cyclists may ride their bikes on sidewalks except when it is specifically prohibited by the law. They have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians who walk in a sidewalk or crosswalk. For example, a cyclist may violate Oregon traffic law if he or she uses an electric bicycle on the sidewalk, suddenly leaves the curb and enters the road when a vehicle is dangerously close, or operates the bicycle at a very high speed. 

What to Do After an Oregon Bicycle Accident

It is crucial for all drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and others on the road to follow Oregon traffic laws, especially those involving the right of way. However, accidents can still occur. If you are injured in an Oregon bicycle accident, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

In these situations, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a lawsuit or insurance claim. You could hold the driver responsible for your accident liable for your injuries, as long as you can prove that he or she caused the accident. If your accident involves right-of-way violations, the driver may claim that your actions contributed to the crash.

A Portland bicycle accident attorney can defend you against accusations of shared liability and help you secure the compensation you deserve. After receiving medical attention for your injuries, schedule a free consultation with an Portland bicycle injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.