A review of important Minnesota bike laws
Bicyclists in Minnesota have the same rights as the driver of a vehicle, with just a few exceptions. One exception is that bicyclists must ride as close to the right-hand side of the road as is practical. Bicyclists do not have to be to the far right side when passing another vehicle, turning left, or when road or weather conditions make it unsafe to be to the right side. When turning, a bicyclist is to give an arm signal for at least 100 feet.
Bicyclists do need to travel in the same direction as vehicle traffic, meaning usually on the right side of the road. Minnesota allows bicyclists to ride 2 abreast, but not more than 2, and must not impede traffic. When riding on a sidewalk, bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians. See Minnesota Statutes 169.222.
If a bicyclist violates a traffic law, that violation can be evidence of the bicyclist’s negligence in Minnesota.
Bicyclists in Minnesota cannot operate at nighttime unless they have appropriate lighting, and reflectors. All bikes must have properly working brakes.
Minnesota No Fault Law and Bicyclists
In Minnesota, if a bicyclist has a vehicle covered by auto insurance and is injured on their bicycle, their own automobile insurance provides No Fault coverage (in most situations and cases). No Fault coverage means a minimum of $20,000 of medical coverage, and $20,000 of wage loss coverage, as well as other benefits. The fact that there is No Fault coverage does not mean a bicyclist has no claim against a driver at fault in the accident. Instead, the bicyclist typically has both a No Fault claim and a bodily injury claim against the driver at fault. This is a benefit to the bicyclist, since No Fault payments for bills and wage loss are usually made quite promptly.
Accidents Due to Defective Bicycle
When a bicycle defect causes a crash and injury, a claim can be made for the defect in Minnesota. Minnesota law is extremely complicated in cases of defective bicycles, and a full explanation is not possible, as it would be very lengthy. It is important to keep in mind that in defect cases, it is critical that the defective bicycle and all defective parts be kept and not lost. The bicycle and parts must be kept in the same condition as the day of the accident.