Understanding New York’s Bicycle Laws and How They Impact Personal Injury Cases

Syracuse, NY—While bicyclists in New York are afforded the same privileges as drivers, they also have their own set of rules they are required to abide by. These rules are designed to protect riders and prevent accidents. Below are just a few of the rules bicyclists must follow when riding in New York:


  1. Sharing the road with vehicles.

If a bicyclist must ride in the road, they are expected to use a designated bicycle lane, or if one is not available, ride as close to the right-hand curb as possible.


  1. Utilizing an entire lane.

Bicyclists are generally required to stay to the right or ride in a designated bicycle lane when one is provided. However, New York law does allow bicyclists to occupy an entire lane when any of the following circumstances exist:

  • To avoid parked vehicles
  • To avoid debris
  • To make a left turn
  • The lanes are narrow. lanes are narrow
  • Visibility is limited.
  • When passing through an intersection


  1. Adequate lighting.

Bicycles must be equipped with a lamp that emits “a white light visible during hours of darkness from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red light visible to the rear for three hundred feet.”


  1. Riding with others.

If an individual is going to be riding with other bicyclists, the law says they cannot ride with more than two abreast. Bicyclists may ride more than two abreast when they are riding on the shoulder of the road or in a bicycle lane.

An individual can review more of New York’s bicycle laws by clicking here.


What effect do New York’s bicycle laws have on personal injury cases?


If a bicyclist was hit by a driver or involved in another type of accident involving a motor vehicle, they may be limited to how much compensation they can recover if they were violating one or more of New York’s bicycle laws at the time the incident took place. Although a bicyclist may be able to recover compensation by filing a no-fault insurance claim, if they decided to sue the driver over the serious injuries they sustained, their award, if one is given, would be diminished by their percentage of fault.1


Get help recovering compensation after a bicycle accident in Syracuse, NY


If a bicyclist sustained serious injuries in an accident and would like assistance with recovering compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, the Syracuse, NY accident lawyers at Stanley Law are ready to help. Stanley Law does provide free initial consultations and can be reached at 1-800-608-3333.


Stanley Law has multiple offices in Central New York that are located at:


Syracuse Office


215 Burnet Avenue

Syracuse, NY 13203

Phone: 1-800-608-3333

Website: www.stanleylawoffices.com


Binghamton Office


84 Court St, Ste 414

Binghamton, NY 13901


Watertown Office


200 Washington St, Ste 407A

Watertown, NY 13601


Rochester Office


510 Clinton Square Ste 521

Rochester, NY 14604


Montrose Office


22 Public Ave

Montrose, PA 18801