Pedestrian and Bicycle

Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Laws in Maryland

Pedestrian and bicycle accidents can result in severe injuries and, in some cases, fatalities. Both pedestrians and cyclists need to understand the laws governing their safety and their rights in the event of an accident.

In this blog post, we will discuss Maryland's pedestrian and bicycle accident laws, including the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians and cyclists and the legal options available to accident victims.

Pedestrian Laws in Maryland

Maryland's traffic laws provide specific rules and protections for pedestrians.

Some critical aspects of these laws include:

  • Right-of-way: Pedestrians generally have the right-of-way when crossing the road in marked crosswalks or at intersections with traffic signals (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-502). Drivers must yield to pedestrians in these situations.
  • Crossing the road: Pedestrians are required to use marked crosswalks when available and obey traffic signals. If a pedestrian crosses the road outside of a marked crosswalk, they must yield the right-of-way to vehicles (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-503). This provision does not, however, mean that a pedestrian who is struck outside of a crosswalk cannot recover for their injuries.
  • Sidewalks: Pedestrians should use sidewalks when they are available. If no sidewalk is present, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road, facing oncoming traffic (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-506).

Bicycle Laws in Maryland

Cyclists in Maryland must follow specific rules and regulations.

These include the following:

  • Right-of-way: Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers, including the right-of-way at intersections and when making turns (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-1202).
  • Bicycle lanes: When a bike lane is present, cyclists must use the lane unless they are making a left turn, passing another cyclist, or avoiding an obstacle (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-1205.1).
  • Riding on the road: Cyclists must ride as close to the right side of the road as practicable, except when making a left turn, passing another vehicle, or avoiding hazards (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-1205).
  • Helmet law: In Maryland, cyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet (Md. Code Ann., Transp. § 21-1207.1).

Legal Options for Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Victims

If you have been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Maryland follows a contributory negligence rule, which means that if the injured party is found to be even partially at fault for the accident, they may be barred from recovering damages (Harrison v. Mont. Cty. Bd. of Educ., 295 Md. 442, 456 A.2d 894 (1983)). However, if the pedestrian or cyclist is not found to be at fault, they may be able to recover damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

It is crucial to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and advocate for your rights. Understanding pedestrian and bicycle accident laws in Maryland is essential for ensuring your safety and protecting your rights in the event of an accident.

Contact the Law Office of Justin A. Wallace at (410) 996-4488. We serve the people of Baltimore.