Vancouver, WA Accident Attorney: Bicycle Accidents
The Pacific Northwest is one of the friendliest places in America to ride a bicycle. And with good reason. Washington consistently ranks as one of the most bike-friendly states in the country and Portland is considered the paragon of bike-friendly cities. Despite efforts to promote bicycle safety in both states, tragedies still occur and more needs to be done to ensure that riding a bike in Washington and Oregon remains a fun and safe activity for everyone. Common causes of bike accidents include:
- Inattentive Motorists
- Pot Holes & Road Defects
- Sewer Grates Installed Improperly
- Unmarked Hazards
Attorney Colin Scott is an avid cyclist who commutes to work regularly by bike and has successfully litigated cases on behalf of injured bicyclists in a variety of situations. To learn more about how our firm can assist you with a bicycle accident case, contact The Scott Law Firm, PLLC today and speak with a Vancouver, WA personal injury attorney who can provide a free case evaluation and assist you with all your questions. Call: (360) 718-3640.
Obey traffic signs and signals
- Never ride against traffic
- Follow lane markings
- Don’t pass on the right
- Keep both hands ready to brake
- Wear a helmet
- Never wear headphones/earbuds
- Use a white front light and red rear light or reflector at night (required by law)
- Use hand signals
- A mirror will help you see traffic approaching from behind
- Wear bright/reflective clothing
- Make eye contact with drivers
- Watch out for road hazards such as pot holes, grates, ice, gravel, etc.
- Keep your bike well maintained
Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Laws in Washington
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about riding a bicycle in the State of Washington. Attempts were made to ensure this information is accurate. However, it is not always possible to update this information on a regular basis and you should not rely or act upon this information without first consulting with an attorney.
Are bicycles treated the same as motor vehicles in Washington?
Do bicyclists have to wear a helmet in Washington?
Are bicyclists required to use front and rear lights when riding at night?
What do the laws say about riding on the road vs. shoulder?
When riding in traffic, which lane should bicyclists use?
Can bicyclists ride abreast (side-by-side) in Washington?
Can bicyclists ride on public highways in Washington?
Where can I access local bike maps of Washington?
Additional questions about bicycle laws in Washington?
Yes, bicyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as motorists in Washington. See RCW 46.61.755. Cyclists who violate traffic laws may be cited and given a ticket. See RCW 46.61.750.
There is currently no helmet law for bicyclists in Washington. However, all military installations require bicyclists to wear a helmet. Additionally, many cities and counties require helmet use with bicycles including Vancouver.
Yes, by law cyclists must use a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet ahead and a rear reflector or red taillight visible up to 300 feet from behind. See RCW 46.61.780.
Both are permissible. Bicyclists in Washington may ride on the path, bike lane, shoulder, or traffic lane—whichever is safest under the circumstances. See RCW 46.61.770.
If you are moving slower than the flow of traffic, you should ride as far right as is safe except when: preparing to turn, passing another vehicle, or when riding on a one-way road with multiple lanes. SeeRCW 46.61.770. You may also occupy the middle lane when traveling with the flow of traffic, when the lane is too narrow for a car to share the lane, when road conditions (such as loose gravel, grates, ice, parked cars, etc.) prevent safely riding to the far right. See RCW 46.61.770.
Yes, but no more than two cyclists may ride abreast. See RCW 46.61.770.
Generally yes, but some designated sections of state highways may be closed to bicycles due to safety concerns. See Map of Washington State Highways Closed to Bicycles. Local counties and municipalities may also adopt ordinances banning cycling on specific roads or sidewalks within business districts.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has a number of downloadable maps located on their website. Various state agencies and local municipalities also provide bike maps on their websites.
To learn more about how our firm can assist you with a bicycle accident case, contact our Vancouver accident attorneys today and speak with a personal injury attorney who can provide a free case evaluation and assist you with all your questions. Call: (360) 718-3640.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Laws in Oregon
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about riding a bicycle in the State of Oregon. Attempts were made to ensure this information is accurate. However, it is not always possible to update this information on a regular basis and you should not rely or act upon this information without first consulting with an attorney.
Do bicyclists have to wear a helmet in Oregon?
Are bicycles and vehicles treated the same in Oregon?
On sidewalks, do bicyclists or pedestrians have the right of way?
Are bike lights required in Oregon?
Are cyclists required to use hand signals in Oregon?
Can I wear a light mounted to my helmet?
Is it against the law in Oregon to ride on someone’s handlebars?
Are bicyclists allowed to ride on freeways in Oregon?
Can I request a “Share the Road” Oregon license plate?
Additional questions about bicycle laws in Oregon?
All bicycle riders under 16 years of age must wear an approved bicycle helmet when riding on a public way. See ORS 814.485.
Yes, bicyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as motorists in Oregon. See ORS 814.400.
Pedestrians have the right away on sidewalks. Cyclists who violate this rule can be cited with an infraction under ORS 814.410.
Yes, lights are required by law if riding when visibility is limited. At a minimum, you must have a white light visible at least 500 feet to the front, and a red light or reflector visible at least 600 feet to the rear. See ORS 815.280.
Yes, unless both hands are needed to safely control or operate the bicycle. See ORS 814.440.
Yes, using a helmet mounted light will comply with Oregon’s bicycle equipment requirements provided your light is white, facing forward, and visible for a distance of at least 500 feet. See ORS 815.280. Note that you must still have a rear-facing red reflector or red light that is visible from a minimum distance of 600 feet from all angles. See ORS 815.280.
Yes. See ORS 814.460; see also ORS 814.470.
Cyclists are prohibited from riding on certain freeways in Oregon due to safety concerns. For a list of freeways where cycling is prohibited, visit the Oregon Department of Transportation website.
Yes, “Share the Road” license plates are available from the Oregon DMV and cost $10 for a two-year registration period. In addition to increasing bicycle awareness on public roads, proceeds from the sale benefit the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Cycle Oregon.
To learn more about how our firm can assist you with a bicycle accident case, contact our Vancouver, WA accident attorneys today and speak with a personal injury attorney who can provide a free case evaluation and assist you with all your questions. Call: (360) 718-3640.
Disclaimer: Web content is not legal advice. Using this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about a legal matter, you should consult with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the appropriate jurisdiction and is familiar with the facts in your situation. To learn more about how The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can assist you with a personal injury related matter, contact our office today for a free consultation: (360) 718-3640.