General Question

Myndecho's avatar

On a bike do you have to drive with or against traffic?

Asked by Myndecho (948points) May 9th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

they say ”“with” why? i dont know.

jrpowell's avatar

I ride against traffic. I like to see what the cars are doing. I ride a lot and have never been pulled over for doing it.

Lupin's avatar

The rule here is drive With traffic. It reduces the closing speed between you and the car. That gives the driver more time to recognize and avoid you. It reduces the impact energy if there is a collision. You can see and react to the correct traffic control devices when you reach an intersection. Pedestrians are usually looking for cars when they cross. They do not always look in the opposite direction looking in the for vehicle
That said, I like to walk facing traffic so I can get out of the way.

casheroo's avatar

They say to bike with traffic, and if you are in the road, you have to follow the same rules as a car.

Tobotron's avatar

as far as I know its totally illegal to drive against traffic in the US or EU…we have loads of Chinese students riding around on the wrong side of the road against traffic and not only am I amazed that they don’t fear for their lives but that there not dead within the week…ride with but always dominate and control your space.

El_Cadejo's avatar


I dont know, it may be me, but it just seems really unsafe to ride with traffic. Id rather see whats coming that way i can get out of the way so i dont get hit, cant say i so much trust the other cars coming up from behind me.

basp's avatar

I ride mybike on the sidewalk when possible. I know it isn’t the right thing to do so I am extra curtious to pedestrians. I just feel safer dodging pedestrians rather than cars.

justwannaknow's avatar

Bikes are now considered a means of conveyance like a car and are pretty much subject to the same rules in most areas.

dynamicduo's avatar

If you are on the road in a bike lane, you are considered a vehicle and must abide by the rules of the road (at least here in Ontario). This includes driving with traffic not against it, yielding to pedestrians, not going through lights, having the bike configured with proper lights and reflectors, etc.

aidje's avatar

Riding against traffic is both totally illegal and totally dangerous. says the following about riding against traffic (see Collision Type 4):

Don’t ride against traffic. Ride with traffic, in the same direction.

Riding against traffic may seem like a good idea because you can see the cars that are passing you, but it’s not. Here’s why:

1. Cars which pull out of driveways, parking lots, and cross streets (ahead of you and to the left), which are making a right onto your street, aren’t expecting traffic to be coming at them from the wrong way. They won’t see you, and they’ll plow right into you.
2. How the heck are you going to make a right turn?
3. Cars will approach you at a much higher relative speed. If you’re going 15mph, then a car passing you from behind doing 35 approaches you at a speed of only 20 (35–15). But if you’re on the wrong side of the road, then the car approaches you at 50 (35+15), which is more than twice as fast! Since they’re approaching you faster, both you and the driver have lots less time to react. And if a collision does occur, it’s going to be ten times worse.
4. Riding the wrong way is illegal and you can get ticketed for it.

One study showed that riding the wrong way was three times as dangerous as riding the right way, and for kids, the risk is seven times greater.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

The law is going with traffic, but I go either one depending on where it is. There are some roads I know where riding on the right side with traffic would be unsafe because of how narrow the shoulder is and because of the blind curves. There’s a road I know going into Stanford where the right side is along a curve and has a very narrow shoulder whereas the left side is much wider and has a sidewalk. Usually if there’s an uncrowded somewhat wide sidewalk available, I’ll ride on that instead of the road altogether.

peedub's avatar

Legally: with
Logically: with

If you get hit head-on by a car you might just die. You are also legally allowed to take up one full lane if there is no bike lane. This may piss off some drivers but in certain places it’s necessary.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


I also think are certain places where people should just not bike. An example would be CA-84 out towards San Gregorio. It’s an extremely windy road with banked curves, blind curves, and narrow shoulders and my friends and I were driving on it to get to the beach and we had to follow a bike and go slow for several minutes until we finally went around it. CA-84 is known for being the site of many bikers getting hit. It’s just unsafe; I think they should just not do it.

nomtastic's avatar

Also, riding on the sidewalk – even if you are courteous – is a nightmare for pedestrians, and unsafe for cars (and you) when you zip across the crosswalks. In the street with you! With traffic. Lights and helmet.

Myndecho's avatar

Where I want to ride my bike there isn’t a sidewalk, but yes that’s a general rule I keep to.

fedupwitcaddys's avatar

bike trails are safer!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther