These accidents also have a pattern. There are many factors that accidents have in common:
- The average age of bicyclists who died in accidents was 45 years old in 2014, 39 in 2004, 32 in 1998, and 24 in 1988. This is happening because more people are using bicycles each year.
- Of all the bicycle accident victims, 88% are male.
- The urban areas have more accidents. 71% of bicycle accidents happen there.
- Accidents also have a prime time, from 6 pm – 9 pm. 20% of all accidents are reported to happen during these hours.
- 66% of fatally injured people in bicycle accidents were not wearing helmets.
These statistics provide a scenario as to why Alabama bicycle laws are necessary. The state of Alabama is very strict about its regulations and one of the safest for cyclists. Alabama ensures that these laws are not only seen as obligations but are also rights too.
In Alabama, it is required that all vehicles will pass a bicycle and overtake at a safe distance. The safe space is no less than 3 feet on any of the following:
- A marked bicycle lane beside any roadway
- If any roadway does not have a bicycle lane but has a speed limit of 45 miles per hour or less.
- If a roadway does not have any double yellow line separating cars from oncoming vehicles or indicates a no-passing zone.
The safe distance does not apply if the cyclist is riding within two feet of the road’s right shoulder. This safe distance law ensures that bicyclists get enough space to ride and rest in case of emergencies. Also, as vehicles are faster than cycles, this provides they slow down a bit.
Helmets to Ensure Protection
Alabama laws require that people aged below 16 years must wear a protective helmet whenever they are riding a bicycle or taking a ride on a bicycle as a passenger. It is not mandatory but recommended to wear helmets, even for adults. Any crash can result in severe head injury. A basic helmet can save your life.
The license plate ‘I Share the Road’ started in 2017. The Fairhope Cycling Project uses the proceeds of this program. This project promotes and makes people aware of bicycle safety.
Another goal of this project is to communicate road safety to the people of Alabama. Not only bicyclists, but the road must also be safe for everyone.
Laws for Distracted Driving
Reading, writing, or sending text messages is wholly prohibited while operating a motor vehicle in Alabama. The law became effective in 2012 and is still in use.
Riding on Sidewalk
It is prohibited to operate any vehicle on a sidewalk or sidewalk area, except for an authorized temporary or permanent driveway. Bicycles are considered vehicles in the state of Alabama, so this law applies to bicycles as well.
Prohibition of Alcohol Consumption
As Alabama considers a bicycle a vehicle, it is completely prohibited to operate a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol. The punishment is severe for operating a bicycle or any vehicle after alcohol consumption or other narcotic substances.
Use Separate Facilities
Alabama State requires that bicyclists use the path provided for them. In many places, there is a path for cyclists beside the roadway. The cyclists must use that path.
The laws are always for people. Alabama is an excellent place for cyclists with one of the lowest number of accidents among all states. The people here follow the law. This academic community has made it possible to have a safe environment for cyclists. But in case of an accident, please contact your Alabama bicycle accident lawyer.
Please leave a comment below if you would like to learn more about the Alabama motorized bicycle laws and electric bike laws in Alabama.