Though many individuals understand that distracted driving jeopardizes the safety of passengers and motorists, there is an equal risk of injury or accident when operating a bicycle while distracted. Thanks to the involvement of the Virginia legislature, the state enjoys some of the highest bicycle safety statistics in the country.
Virginia has several bike laws in play to help protect both riders and pedestrians from injury, but also reduce the number of accidents involving motor vehicles and bicyclists. These laws limit distracted driving opportunities and improve the visibility of cyclists.
1. Use of headphones
Cyclists in the state of VA cannot use earbuds or headphones in both ears when riding a bike in public areas or on the road. With this law in place, a bicyclist can hear what takes place in the environment around the, whether road sounds, pedestrians, cars or sirens.
2. Use of helmets
There are no statewide requirements for helmet use by children, but there are many local ordinances that have set these requirements in place. Not only do you have a possible legal obligation, but wearing a helmet is also one of the most important steps to take for cycling safety.
3. Use of turn signals
The state also requires cycling to use signals when stopping or making a turn. These gestures warn drivers of the cyclist’s intention and allow plenty of opportunities to respond accordingly. This communication between bicycles and cars sharing the road can reduce the risk of an accident.
Poor communication, limited visibility and distractions contribute to unsafe conditions when cars and bikes share the road. Practicing common sense and obeying Virginia laws decreased the potential for bicycling accidents.