Biking in the Wrong Direction: Causes One-third of Bike-Car Crashes

Tempted to ride the wrong direction in a bike lane? Don’t do it! Bicycles are considered vehicles under Oregon Revised Statutes and cyclists are required to ride with the flow of traffic when riding in the street. Most Corvallis bicyclists obey traffic laws and practice safe riding, but some ride against the traffic flow, creating a safety hazard for themselves and others. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, wrong-way riding is the leading cause of crashes between cars and bikes in which the bicyclist is at fault—it accounts for nearly one-third of all car/bike crashes.

The greatest danger to a wrong-way rider occurs at intersections and driveways. Drivers often don’t see bicyclists traveling in the wrong direction. The driver is looking for traffic to come from the other (correct) direction and may turn into the bike rider’s path. Wrong-way bicycle riders traveling on one-way streets are not able to see signs and traffic signals. Riding the wrong direction in a bike lane can cause head-on collisions with other bicyclists traveling in the proper direction or can cause one cyclist to move into traffic to avoid such collisions.

Finally, a citation from the Corvallis Police Department for wrong-way riding is a Class B violation and could carry a $260 fine.

Be safe, be seen—ride in the proper direction!

by Gregory Wilson