If you answered no, then read on as we highlight some important ones you need to know below.
Bicycling is a regular form of physical exercise that can help keep you active, healthy, and it is something the entire family can enjoy. Not only does bicycling help “reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle,” but it’s fun [Source: Better Health Channel]. Unfortunately, riding a bike can be risky with so many distracted drivers out occupying the roadways which is why you must be aware of the current bike laws in SC so that you know where you are permitted to ride which can help prevent you from getting in the way of traffic.
What are South Carolina’s Bike Laws?
To help you better understand what your rights are as a bike rider and what laws you must abide by, below we highlight a few important bicycle laws for you.
- Section 56-5-3420– “A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway must be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”
- Section 56-5-3425– If a bicycle lane is made available, which is a “portion of the roadway or a paved lane that is separated from the roadway that has been designated by striping, pavement markings, and signage for the preferential or exclusive use of bicyclists,” then the following applies
- Motor vehicles cannot block the bicycle lane to oncoming bicycle traffic and “shall yield to a bicyclist in the bicycle lane before entering or crossing the lane.”
- “Bicycles are required to ride in the bicycle lane except when necessary to pass another person riding a bicycle or to avoid an obstruction in the bicycle lane. However, bicyclists may ride on the roadway when there is only an adjacent recreational bicycle path available instead of a bicycle lane.”
- Section 56-5-3430– Every bicyclist that is riding on the roadway “shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable.” A bicyclist is also permitted “to ride on the shoulder of the roadway in order to comply with the requirements of this subsection.” A bicycle rider must also “exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.”
- Section 56-5-3435– Motorists are required to “maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a bicycle.”
- Section 56-5-3470- When riding at night, a bicyclist must equip their bike with “a lamp on the front which must emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear that must be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of the lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.”
- Section 56-5-3480– If a bicyclist wishes to turn left or right, they must extend either arm upward depending on which way they want to turn.
[Source: Palmetto Cycling Coalition].
To view a list of all the bicycle laws that are currently active in the state of SC, visit the Palmetto Cycling Coalition website.
Bicycle Safety Tips
Aside from familiarizing yourself with the state’s bike laws, you should also be implementing some safety tips to help keep you safe. Just because you might be following the laws doesn’t mean other motorists are which is why must take the necessary measures to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Below are a few helpful tips we feel will benefit you and your family while out riding your bikes.
- Always wear your helmet to reduce the chances of sustaining a serious head injury.
- Ride with your head up and always look ahead and not at the ground.
- Only allow one person to ride each bike. The AAA Exchange says that when you “ride with unsecured passengers [it] puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.”
- Whenever possible, always ride single file while leaving some space in between bikes.
- Be sure you ride on the right side of the road and never against traffic.
- If you are going to be riding in a group, be sure you have your route planned out and know what you will do if you wind up getting separated by traffic.
- Avoid riding on busy roads and during peak traffic times.
- Before riding at night, be sure you are visible enough for motorists to see you.
[Source: AAA Exchange].
Now that you are familiar with the laws that apply to bicyclists as well as some ways you and your loved ones can increase your level of safety while riding, you should also be aware of who you need to contact in the event you sustained an injury while riding your bike in Greenville or Spartanburg.