Is It Legal To Ride A Bike On The Highway?

Cycling is a healthy, enjoyable, and safe activity but not immune to risk. The safety of cyclists and motorists predicates the legality of biking on the highway, eliciting the debate; is it legal to ride a bike on the highway?

It’s legal to cycle on state highways and other freeways in most western states, but not in urban or other congested areas. Federal laws or regulations don’t prohibit bicycling on state highways. While a state may prohibit cycling on freeways, this is not a federal government requirement.

Some may find it permitting bicycling on any freeway or divided highway strange because cars are speeding and cyclists struggle to find a space to ride.

Is it illegal to ride a bike on a highway

Nevertheless, since many people bike to work, it’s only fair that they can use the highway to access locations they wouldn’t have otherwise reached using other roads.

Can You Ride A Bike On A State Highway?

It is legal to ride a bike on the highway found within a state. Therefore, you can cruise along state highways in your location without breaking any laws since there are no laws or regulations barring bicycle use on state highways.

The Texas Department of Transportation dictates that a bicycle may be prohibited from using a restricted or controlled-access highway.

On the other hand, bicyclists in New Jersey have access to all roads and highways that cars can use as per the law.

This implies that bikes and vehicles can ride on similar lanes. However, if you cannot maintain pace with the traffic stream, you must move to the right side of the right-hand lane or use a bike lane if one exists.

Other states that allow cycling on the highway are Arizona, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Alaska, Utah, Oregon, Wyoming, Washington, and Nevada.

In areas where cycling on highways is not outlawed, cyclists must always adhere to highway rules and regulations to ensure their safety as well as that of other motorists.

Is it legal to cycle on a highway

Those found guilty of defying set laws while riding bicycles on highways stare at penalties stipulated under the Road Transportation Act.

Is It Safe To Ride A Bike On The Highway?

Riding a bike on the highway is safe if you can be cautious and follow the rules set forth for motorists (since cyclists and motorists are handcuffed to the same laws).

If every cyclist could religiously abide by the traffic rules, biking would be just as safe as driving. This notion is backed by some scholars who also asserted that cycling is the safest mode of transport for young adults.

While there are disparities in the set of rules across different states, it’s mandatory for cyclists in most areas to have certain items.

They include a helmet, reflectors at the front and back of the bike, a bell or horn, working brakes, white headlight, and red taillight.

In addition, it is essential to implement safe cycling practices designed to alleviate accidents by keeping you visible both to the drivers and pedestrians. Some of those practices include but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Ride a bike that is comfortable for you
  • Ride on the right lane
  • Avoid blindspots more so at traffic lights or stop signs
  • Signal when decelerating or making a turn
  • Avoid using your phone while biking
  • You’ll need to carry every item in a backpack
  • Be conversant with state traffic laws and plan your route

What Side Of The Highway Should You Bike On?

You must move in the direction of traffic when riding you bicycle on the highway.

In the US, this signifies always riding on the road’s right side. You should also use the lane’s right side whenever possible, unless it is dangerous to do so.

If you’re in a bike lane, use the lane’s left side to avoid hitting parked cars. If you see someone in their vehicle, decelerate and pass cautiously out of the door zone.

California law views bicycles to be “motor vehicles, hence subject to all traffic laws.

Dangers of cycling on a highway

Riding against the flow of traffic is equivalent to mutilating the law because of the danger it poses and the significant number of accidents accredited to its account. This also applies in North Carolina, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Car drivers, in most cases, do not foresee cyclists approaching against traffic, leaving the latter vulnerable to collisions. Furthermore, when a cyclist rides against the traffic flow, there is often little time to avoid a collision, thus jeopardizing the safety of cyclists flowing with traffic.

Some states allow cyclists to use some highways, as long as the interstate is designated for bikes. They are Florida, California, Oklahoma, Colorado, and North Carolina.

A median or a concrete wall usually separate a massive chunk of the highways where it’s illegal to cycle.  They also have higher speed limits, thus making them inappropriate for cyclists.

Also, read:


1. Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike On The Highway?

It is not illegal to cycle on the highway in most states. However, due to the dangers associated with the exercise without proper precautions, authorities try to dissuade cyclists from doing so.

2. Can You Ride A Bike On Highway 101?

You can ride on Highway 101, but you must be cautious and defensive due to heavy recreational vehicle traffic during the peak of tourist season.

3. Can We Cycle On Highway?

It’s perfectly fine to cycle on the highway, but you must be vigilant, be attentive, and make intelligent decisions to ensure you stay safe and not endanger other people. This is particularly vital because highways are busier than paths and trails.

You can travel on highways with your bicycle in the majority of western countries, including Britain, the United States, and the European Union. The interstate highway seems to be the best option in some places compared to other mountainous, narrow, or winding terrain.

4. Can You Ride A Bike On The Highway In Texas?

You can legally ride your bicycle on highways found in Texas, but beware of the dangers associated with it.

5. Can You Legally Ride A Bike On The Highway?

You can legally ride your bicycle on most highways, but it’s generally prohibited in most freeways. Some highways have signages that let you know if you can cycle on that road.

It is legal to go bike riding on some highways in some states and countries but prohibited in others. So, if you’re planning to bike on the highway, double-check that it’s legal, pay attention to the signs, and be aware of your surroundings.