When riding your bicycle, it's imperative to keep your safety and well-being in mind at all times. Even a simple mistake can result in a serious accident that causes injury or death.
While there are many types of car-bicycle accidents, rear-end collisions are all too common. This occurs when a motor vehicle strikes you from behind, often without you seeing it coming.
There is no guaranteed way to prevent this type of collision, but there are some steps you can take to better protect yourself:
- Always look behind you before changing direction: For example, if you're moving into traffic from the shoulder of the road, glance over your shoulder to pinpoint the location of every vehicle. As you're glancing, be sure to maintain a straight line of travel.
- Don't ride in the parking lane: This is tempting when there aren't many cars in the lane, but when you encounter one, you're forced to move into traffic. This increases the risk of a passing vehicle striking you from behind.
- Always signal: When making a move, such as a left turn, be sure to use the proper signal. For instance, a left turn should be accompanied by putting your left arm straight out.
- Install a mirror: If your bicycle doesn't currently have a mirror, don't wait to install one. It's not a replacement for physically looking over your shoulder, but it can help you monitor what's happening around you at all times.
Even if a motor vehicle is moving at a slow rate of speed, a rear-end accident is likely to cause serious injury, such as whiplash and broken bones.
If you're injured in this type of accident, call 911 for help and stay where you are until paramedics arrive. Depending on your injuries, you may be able to administer first aid. After receiving treatment at a local hospital, you'll better understand your injuries and prognosis for making a full recovery.
As time allows, consult with your insurance company and learn more about other ways to obtain compensation in Colorado from the negligent driver for your injuries and related damages.