cycling right of way laws

Right of way is one of the most debated driving topics. Knowing who goes when in what situation can be confusing. This is especially true for cyclists sharing the road with bigger, more dangerous vehicles. Failure to properly follow right of way laws causes too many traffic accidents. At Utah Bicycle Lawyers, we strive to promote road safety for cyclists and drivers, because we see the often serious consequences of accidents. This post explains cycling right of way laws in several different situations.

Cycling Right of Way Laws in Common Situations

Essentially, every state in the United States requires cyclists to follow the same laws as motor vehicle drivers. So, if you are familiar with right of way laws for cars, you are familiar with cycling right of way laws. However, it is extremely important to be extra cautious on a bike, because you have so little protection. Practice defensive cycling, so that you can avoid serious and potentially life-altering accidents. With the help of, we compiled this list of situations when cyclists and drivers are required to yield the right of way.

  • At intersections with no stoplights or signs, when there are already cars passing through the intersection
  • At “T” intersections, if they are not driving on the through road
  • They must yield to oncoming traffic if they are turning left, unless they are at a stoplight and have a green arrow
  • If they are traveling on an unpaved road and come upon a paved road
  • If they are parked on the road and reentering the roadway
  • When they come upon a yield sign
  • To pedestrians or cyclists on a crosswalk
  • To people using a seeing eye guide dog or a white cane. White canes signify visual impairment and blindness

Of course, these are only some of the situations in which right of way is an issue. One of the best ways to prevent a crash is to cycle defensively and never assume drivers or other cyclists will yield to you. Careful cycling can save you from painful and costly injuries.

Utah Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Bike safety goes far beyond cycling right of way laws. There are many different factors that can lead to a bicycle accident. If you are injured in an accident due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be able to recover your losses in an accident case. At Utah Bicycle Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping our state’s cyclists get the legal help they need. We are cyclists ourselves, and can put our experience and expertise to work for you. If you are interested in a free case consultation, contact us today or fill out the form on the top right of this page!

To help you better understand your rights, we wrote a book — The Utah Bicycle Accident Handbook — and we offer it for free! Understanding your case can remove a lot of stress during the injury claims process. You can order your absolutely free copy today by clicking on the title above! We will work our hardest to win your case and get you what you deserve.


Image by Adrian Williams

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