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Am I Required to Have Lights on My Bicycle When Riding at Night?

On Behalf of | | Personal Injury

South Carolina has specific laws about operating a bike, including requirements about lights when you ride at night. These laws are designed to help protect bicyclists from the immense physical, financial, and emotional consequences of a bike accident. If you or someone you care about has suffered an injury in a bike accident that was caused by a motorist’s negligence, seek the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Charleston bike accident attorney.

Bike Laws in South Carolina

While bicycles are not defined as vehicles under South Carolina law, bicyclists generally have the same rights and responsibilities that motorists do. These rules are comprehensive, and they include specific regulations that apply to lights. Consider the following:

  • If you ride at night, your bicycle must be equipped with a front white light that is visible from at least 500 feet away, and that is turned on.
  • When you ride at night, your bike must also have a red reflector at the rear that is visible from at least 300 feet away, which can be accompanied by a red light that is visible from at least 500 feet away.

In addition to the above, there are specific requirements related to reflectors for bicyclists who ride at night, including all the following:

  • A clear front reflector
  • A clear or amber front wheel reflector
  • The red rear reflector mentioned above
  • A clear or red rear wheel reflector
  • Clear or amber pedal reflectors

Some lights double as reflectors, and when that is the case, your front and back lights also meet the requirement for having front and light reflectors.

Staying Safe When You’re on Your Bike

When you’re on your bike you’re much more difficult for motorists to see, and the risk becomes that much more pronounced at night. South Carolina’s laws related to bike lights are intended to improve your visibility. Additionally, your bike’s lights can help you identify risk factors on the road, such as potholes.

Shared Fault

If you suffered an injury in a bike accident that was caused by a driver’s negligence, such as distraction or excess speed, but your bike wasn’t equipped with the necessary lights and reflectors at the time, the court may find that you share fault in the matter. In South Carolina, however, you can still seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for the percentage of your covered losses that they’re responsible for – as long as you are not assigned more than 49 percent of the fault.

Make the Call to an Experienced Charleston Bike Accident Attorney Today

The seasoned Charleston bike accident attorneys at Query Sautter & Associates are poised to unleash the full force of their imposing experience in focused pursuit of the compensation to which you are entitled. Reaching your fullest recovery is important to your future, and we can help. Learn more about what we can do for you by reaching out and contacting us online or calling 843-795-9500 today.