In a perfect cycling world, you’d always have access to a bicycle lane. This gives you peace of mind, as you know you and other cyclists are the only ones who should be traveling in this area.
Unfortunately, there are times when you have no choice but to ride alongside motor vehicles on the road.
While this may not be the ideal situation, there are some steps you can take to enhance your safety and lessen the likelihood of an accident:
- Follow the rules of the road: Just as motor vehicles are required to follow the rules of the road, you are as well. Stop at stop signs, obey traffic signals and use turn signals (your hands) when appropriate. Neglecting to do so puts you and everyone else at risk of an accident.
- Stay in the right lane: When possible, ride your bicycle in the right lane. It’s the safest place to ride for many reasons, including the fact that it’s the “slow lane” and it’s where drivers most expect to find you.
- Be careful when making turns: Many bicycle accidents happen at intersections. For instance, if you’re making a right turn, be sure that any vehicles around you are aware of your intentions, as this helps avoid a situation in which you are cut off. Just the same, be aware that vehicles traveling from the opposite direction may not stop when you start your turn.
- Wear the appropriate safety gear: From a helmet to knee pads to the appropriate footwear, it’s a must to dress with safety in mind. You hope your safety gear never comes into play, but if you’re in an accident you’ll be glad that you put it on.
- Watch for opening doors: Moving vehicles aren’t the only hazard when cycling on the road. Dooring accidents are a major concern. If someone unexpectedly opens a door into your lane of travel, you’ll either strike it head on or have to make a quick maneuver to a safer place.
Even if you follow these cycling safety tips, you could still suffer an injury in a car-bicycle accident. This often happens when a driver acts in a negligent manner, such as by running a red light or neglecting to use a turn signal.
If you’re injured in this type of accident, receive medical attention, contact your insurance agent and take steps to protect your legal rights in Colorado.