Omaha Bike Laws and Safety Tips to Protect Riders
For a long time, Nebraska had a well-earned reputation as a state that wasn’t very hospitable to bicycles. In fact, Nebraska was rated the least bike-friendly state, according to a national survey conducted in 2017.
The survey criticized Nebraska for low funding, lack of planning, and limited infrastructure for bicycles. In the last few years, things have improved for bike riders in Nebraska, and the City of Omaha has made a concerted effort to improve conditions for cyclists in the city.
Omaha is adding bike routes and posting signage to make routes easier to use. The city is also collecting data about bike riders that will allow local officials to provide services and expand bike routes in the future. Things are looking up for cyclists in Nebraska, and there are a number of steps you can take to make cycling a safe and enjoyable experience.
Staying Safe on Your Bike in Omaha
Riding a bicycle is good for the environment and excellent for your health. The city of Omaha is working to improve conditions for cyclists and encouraging more people to ride bikes for fun and to get around town.
There are several things bike riders can do to stay safe while you are riding. It starts with having the right safety gear. Although riders aren’t legally required to wear a helmet, it’s strongly recommended. Studies demonstrate that a helmet dramatically decreases the chances of sustaining a serious injury should you suffer a crash.
After a helmet, the most important safety gear is gloves to protect your hands. It’s also a good idea to carry a safety kit that includes bottled water, basic bicycle tools, a first aid kit, photo ID, a cell phone, a tire repair kit, and a medical ID card.
Essential tips for bicycle safety include:
- Have your bike serviced regularly.
- Use reflectors to enhance visibility.
- Cross railroad tracks as far over to the right as possible.
- Be predictable and avoid sudden maneuvers.
- Wear bright and reflective clothing.
- Used paved shoulders whenever possible.
- Wear a helmet.
- Use hand signals when making turns.
Bicycle Laws in Nebraska
E-bikes are a fast-growing trend in Omaha and across the country. E-bike riders are required to wear helmets in Nebraska, and the maximum speed for e-bikes is 20mph.
State law permits riding a bike on the sidewalk, but it may be prohibited in your city, so you’ll want to check local ordinances. Riding on the sidewalk is also prohibited in certain sections of downtown Omaha.
It’s recommended to use bike paths and trails if they are available. When traveling along the road, stay as far to the right as safely possible. Automobiles are required to provide three feet of space when passing cyclists on the road.
The following laws apply to all bicycle riders in Nebraska:
- Bikes must have brakes that can stop at 25 feet when traveling at ten mph.
- A red reflector is required at the back of your bike.
- Never ride against the flow of traffic.
- A light is required at the front of your bike for night riding.
- You must follow the same traffic rules as automobiles.
- Always stay to the right unless passing a bicycle or making a legal left turn.
- Never have more people on a bicycle than it’s designed to carry.
- Never ride a bike along an interstate or highway.
- Ride single file when traveling on the road.
- Don’t carry anything that prevents you from keeping both hands on handlebars.
- Never ride a bicycle when impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Were You Harmed in an Omaha Bike Accident?
You shouldn’t have to pay your own medical expenses if you were harmed by another person’s careless behavior. Bottlinger Law L.L.C. will file a claim to help you recover the money you need to cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses, such as occupational therapy.
Trial lawyer Jason Bottlinger has been providing effective legal assistance to people who were harmed in accidents for over 15 years. We have a perfect A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau of Nebraska.
Call (402) 505-8234 to learn more today. It’s time to have an Omaha bicycle accident attorney on your side that knows how to win.
Our legal team is ready to help. Please fill out the form below to set up a free consultation with the Bottlinger Law team.