Do Cyclists in NYC Need to Stop for Stop Signs?

black car that hit bicycle now lying on ground, who is at fault if the bicyclist did not stop at the stop sign?

You may have noticed a growing trend in New York City. More bicyclists than ever before travel the city’s streets. The NYC Department of Transportation finds that of adult New Yorkers, 30 percent ride a bike. On a typical day, people make 550,000 cycling trips in the city. Unfortunately, that means a growing number of bicycle accidents involving careless motorists.

At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., we know the key to staying safe on New York City streets is understanding local traffic laws. If you are a cyclist, how do you know which traffic laws apply to you? Should you stop at all stop signs? Our legal team wants to provide you with the information you need to avoid an accident with a careless driver.

Do Bicyclists Have to Obey Traffic Laws in NYC?

Although not motorized, bicycles are considered a form of transportation. Cyclists have the same rights as motorists when using New York City streets. They are also subject to most of the same rules and regulations. Yes, bicyclists must obey all local traffic laws.

Traffic laws bicyclists should be aware of include requirements to:

  • Stop at all stoplights and stop signs
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Yield to pedestrians

Although wearing high-visibility clothing is not required by law, headlights and taillights, reflective devices, or reflective tires are required.

Benefits of a Cyclist Coming to a Full Stop

Not only is stopping at stop signs and red lights the law, but stopping also protects cyclists from careless motorists.

Intersections can be dangerous for bicyclists. The New York Department of Transportation estimates that 89 percent of the most significant cycling injuries occur at intersections. When you come to a complete stop at a traffic sign or signal, you can scan your surroundings for potential hazards, including cars and pedestrians.

Do you have the red light? Then you do not have the right of way. Oncoming traffic may not be expecting you, which could lead to a significant accident. While the allure of riding a bike through New York City streets is that it is fast and convenient, that doesn’t mean you can bypass traffic laws.

Can a Cyclist Recover Compensation for a Crash After Failing to Stop?

Technically, yes. You could recover compensation following a crash if you failed to stop. New York uses pure comparative fault when determining compensation for people hurt in crashes. The legal rule means your compensation would decrease by the percentage of fault you bear for causing an accident. For example, if you were found to be 30 percent at fault for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, any award of compensation would be reduced by 30 percent.

The value of your compensation claim depends on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your losses, and other circumstances of the accident. If you need help determining what your claim could be worth, talk to an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. We want to help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries, even if your failure to stop helped cause the crash.

Contact Our NYC Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today

Have you been hurt in a significant bicycle accident on New York City streets? The skilled bicycle accident attorneys at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., are ready to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.