Cycling is a lot of fun, but it is also potentially dangerous. When you’re on the road around other drivers, you need to know that they are going to see you and be able to avoid you.
Cyclists are entitled to use the roadway, just like any other driver. Sadly, they aren’t always safe, even when they use bike lanes or are riding safely in the main lane.
In 2018, 857 cyclists were killed in crashes across the United States. Of course, when crashes happen, it is the cyclist who is at the greatest risk of getting hurt or killed. The driver of a passenger vehicle has the steel framing and structure of the vehicle to protect them, but the cyclist has nothing.
If motorcyclists and cyclists could follow the rules of the road, then there would be a lower risk of getting into crashes. What should they do?
Cyclists should remember that they are bound to the biking laws of the state, just as drivers have to follow traffic laws. Some tips for avoiding a crash include:
- Riding a bike that fits you
- Riding a bike that is in good condition
- Carrying any items you want to take with you in a backpack or in saddlebags
- Planning your route in advance to avoid traffic
- Wearing shoes without laces or tucking your laces in to prevent them from getting caught in the bike chain
- Wearing bright and reflective clothing.
Drivers who want to stay safe around cyclists have to do a few things, too. Some tips include:
- Yielding to cyclists in the same way that you would as a bicyclist
- Stopping at stop signs completely and looking both ways before turning on red
- Obeying the speed limit
- Giving cyclists more room, especially when passing
It is possible for drivers and cyclists to be safe around one another. It’s your job to do what you can to minimize the risk of injuries and to follow the rules of the road. If you do end up in a crash, the person who is at fault may be able to be held liable for injuries and the costs that are associated with them.
If you would like to learn more about cycling safely in Colorado, you can download this free PDF file. It can help you learn more about what to do to stay safe when you’re on the road.