In the summer of 2012, Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee to compete in the Olympic Games when he qualified to compete in the 400 meter dash. As a sprinter representing the country South Africa, Pistorius has artificial limbs below both knees, putting him at a considerable disadvantage against other able-bodied athletes. But despite these differences, Pistorius still has to play by the same rules as the athletes he is competing against. He has to start when everyone else starts, stay in his lane, and run the the same direction as the rest of his competitors. When you are on a bicycle, there are some distinct disadvantages that you face on the road when compared to other vehicles. The obvious difference is that while other vehicles are powered by an engine, bicycles are powered by the rider. Automobiles also provide more protection in case of an accident, whereas cyclists are completely exposed. But despite these differences, cyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws as other drivers on the road. Go With the Flow Contrary to what some have been taught, it is not lawful to ride a bicycle against the normal flow of traffic. While this method does allow you to see cars coming, it is much more dangerous. If you are on a bicycle, you must ride on the right-hand side of the road. I Was Here First Everyone on the road is entitled to the space that they need. This includes the space in front, behind, and to either side of their vehicle. On the roadway, whoever gets there first has the right of way. If another driver wants to use the space occupied by another vehicle, they must yield to the person who is already using it.  It doesn’t matter if you are on a bicycle, motorcycle, car, or semi-truck; the same rules apply to all. Yielding Just because you are on a bicycle doesn’t mean that you don’t have to follow the usual traffic rules. Signs, lights, and laws determine who has the right of way in any given traffic situation. If you have a red light, you must yield to crossing traffic. If need to switch lanes, you must yield to the vehicles already in your desired lane. It is important to remember that when you are on a bicycle, you have just as much right to be on the road as anyone else. However, the fact that you are obeying the law doesn’t mean that you are not in danger.  Many cyclists are involved in collisions with other vehicles despite doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing, simply because the driver wasn’t paying attention or failed to yield to the cyclist. Contact Berkshire Ginsberg – Bicyclist Advocates If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident while riding a bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation. At Berkshire Ginsberg, LLC, our Portland bike accident attorneys can help you pursue personal injury claims against a negligent driver. We know the rights of cyclists and will fight to get you the settlement that you and your family deserve.  To schedule a consultation, contact us online or by phone at 503-233-6507.