San Antonio Bicycle Traffic Laws

Friday, May 21, 2021
The City of San Antonio is full of bicycle enthusiasts who use these vehicles for work, recreation and a regular means of transportation. Unfortunately, San Antonio is not the safest city for bicyclists, due largely to distracted drivers and confusion regarding bicycle traffic laws. In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 68 pedalcyclist fatalities throughout the state. You may be able to stay safe as a bicyclist and avoid accidents by knowing and obeying San Antonio’s related laws.

Are Bicycles Vehicles in Texas?

Yes, bicycles are classified as vehicles under Texas State law. This means bicyclists have all of the same rights, responsibilities and duties that apply to motor vehicle operators. As a bicyclist, you must obey all traffic laws, regulations, signs and signals. Failing to do so could lead to a ticket or fine for a traffic violation.

Do You Have to Obey Traffic Laws on a Bicycle in San Antonio?

Yes, you must obey all traffic laws and roadway rules while riding a bicycle in San Antonio, unless a law does not apply to a bicycle due to its nature. This includes following traffic control signals, obeying stop signs, yielding the right-of-way (when applicable), following speed limits and traveling in the same direction as the rest of traffic. There is also a Safe Passing Ordinance in San Antonio that requires motor vehicle operators to stay at least three feet and commercial truck drivers to stay at least six feet away from bicyclists while following or passing. Breaking basic roadway rules is a common mistake that can lead to preventable collisions.

Where Can You Ride a Bicycle in San Antonio?

You should ride your bicycle on the road or a bicycle lane in San Antonio, not a sidewalk. You have as much right to the road as motor vehicle operators in Texas. If you are moving slower than the traffic around you, you must ride as near as you can to the right-hand side of the road unless you are passing another vehicle, turning left or a road hazard makes it unsafe to do so. If a bicycle lane is available, you must use the bicycle lane rather than riding in the road. While riding your bike, you may ride two abreast with another bicyclist. You cannot carry a passenger on your bicycle unless you have a bike that is designed for more than one person. You also cannot carry an object that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle. It is against the law to attach a skateboard, roller skates or another such object to the bicyclist or bicycle.

Do You Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding a Bicycle in San Antonio?

No law in San Antonio or Texas requires you to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Texas does not have a universal helmet law for bicyclists, but certain municipalities require them. Although you legally do not have to use a helmet, it is strongly encouraged. Studies show that wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a head injury by 85 percent.

What Is the Required Bicycle Equipment in Texas?

According to Texas Transportation Code Section 551.104, all bikes in the state must be equipped with adequate brakes, as well as a front headlight and rear reflector if the bicyclist plans on riding at nighttime. In addition, San Antonio’s Bike Light Ordinance requires a front white light and a rear red reflector or light, both visible from at least 500 feet. Breaking this municipal law is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable with up to a $200 fine.

Can You Get a DUI While Riding a Bike in San Antonio?

No, you cannot get a driving under the influence (DUI) charge for operating a bicycle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. However, you could receive charges for public intoxication. If you cause or contribute to an accident while driving under the influence, you could also face civil liability for the collision – meaning you will be financially responsible for injuries or property damage. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in San Antonio, contact a bicycle accident attorney for help as soon as possible.
Posted by at 1:11 pm

Who Pays for Injuries in a Bicycle Accident?

Monday, February 22, 2021
Bicycle accidents in San Antonio can be devastating for bicyclists. Bikers do not have the protections offered to motor vehicle drivers in an accident, such as seat belts and airbags. A bicyclist could suffer bone fractures, muscle and soft-tissue injuries, lacerations, a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, or internal organ damage in an accident. If you get injured in a bicycle accident in Texas, it is important to understand who may be legally responsible for paying for your injuries. This could be a few different parties, depending on the circumstances of the accident. A bicycle accident attorney in San Antonio can help you determine fault.

The At-Fault Driver

Texas is a fault-based insurance state. This means in a bicycle accident claim, the party that caused the collision is financially responsible for damages. The driver or party guilty of breaching a duty of care (acting in a way that is careless) and causing the bicycle accident will have to pay for losses through his or her auto insurance carrier. Every driver in Texas must carry at least:
  • $30,000 per person in medical or bodily injury insurance,
  • $60,000 per auto accident in bodily injury liability insurance, and
  • $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Liability insurance will pay for an injured bicyclist’s medical bills, property damage and other losses if the motor vehicle driver caused the accident. Under Texas’s tort-based system, however, it is the injured party’s responsibility to prove the driver’s fault. Proof of fault is often necessary before a driver’s insurance company will pay an injured cyclist a settlement. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, you would not need to prove fault to obtain compensation as an injured victim; you would receive a settlement from your insurance provider, regardless of fault. The downside of a no-fault system is that less financial compensation is typically available in a first-party claim compared to a third-party claim.

The Injured Bicyclist

Even with Texas’s fault-based law, you may need to seek financial compensation from your own insurance provider as the victim of a bicycle accident in San Antonio in certain situations. If you were hurt in a hit-and-run accident, for example, you would turn to your own insurance carrier for compensation through uninsured motorist coverage. This would also be the case if the driver did remain at the scene but was illegally driving without insurance. You may also need to rely on your own insurance company for coverage if you were partially at fault for the accident. Texas is a comparative negligence state, meaning you could still be eligible for some compensation from the other driver. However, your insurer may need to pay for a fraction of your costs based on your amount of fault. In general, your auto insurance policy will only cover your losses if you have medical pay or comprehensive insurance.

A Third Party

There is the possibility of a third party, meaning neither you nor the driver who struck you, being financially responsible for your injuries. This could be the case if a road or bicycle defect contributed to the accident. If the road had a pothole you had to go around on your bike, for instance, the government entity in charge of roadway maintenance could be liable for a related bicycle accident. If a bicycle defect caused your accident, the manufacturer of the bicycle could be liable through Texas’s product liability laws.

When to Speak to a Bicycle Accident Attorney in San Antonio

Before you can financially recover from a bicycle accident in San Antonio, you or your lawyer will need to prove another party’s fault as more likely to be true than not true. This requires enough evidence to convince an insurance company, judge or jury that your bicycle accident would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligence. A personal injury lawyer in San Antonio can help you meet your burden of proof during a bicycle accident injury claim, as well as help you understand who will pay for your injuries and related losses. It is especially important to talk to an attorney if the bicycle accident gave you severe or catastrophic injuries. A lawyer can help you demand fair compensation from the correct party or parties.
Posted by at 5:24 pm