Of course the rules of the road, including the duty to use due care, apply to the operators of bicycles.
It has come as a surprise to some of my clients that a bicyclist has all the rights of a motorist.
There are some exceptions: bicyclists cannot operate on a highway with a speed limit of greater than 50 mph, and, if there is a separate bike lane, the bicyclist must use it. There are additional qualifications to that general rule. A bicyclist traveling at less than the speed of traffic must stay as far to the right as possible unless passing or making a left turn, the street is one-way, the right lane is a turn only lane or too narrow for two vehicles, or the lane is otherwise blocked. It should come as no surprise bicyclists have the same obligations as a motorist as well. At least one case has determined that a bicyclist failing to stay to the right, who is injured by a motorist, has no claim based on contributory negligence principles. Longie v. Exline, 659 F.Supp. 177 (D. Md., 1987).
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 4/22/19.