Colorado is a beautiful location for bicycle riding, but it also presents various accident risks for vulnerable and unsuspecting cyclists. Distracted and negligent drivers, road defects and hazards, and dangerous weather conditions all contributed to the hundreds of bicycle accidents reported in Colorado annually. Keep yourself safe with a few basic bicycle riding tips.
Wear a Helmet
In Colorado, no bicyclist is legally required to wear a protective helmet while riding. However, Denver traumatic brain injury attorneys recommend doing so as it is significantly beneficial for cyclist safety. Studies show that the use of a bicycle helmet can reduce the odds of serious head injury by 60 percent and traumatic brain injury by 53 percent. Overall, the total number of cyclists killed and seriously injured in crashes each year would be reduced by about 34 percent if everyone wore a helmet.
Know Your Bike
Take the time to research and choose the correct type and size of bicycle for you. Your saddle height and handlebar reach should be calibrated to enable you to easily control your bicycle. Ask for advice from a professional at a bicycle shop if you need assistance selecting the right bike.
When you purchase a new bike, practice riding it in a safe and controlled area, such as a private driveway or parking lot, until you feel comfortable enough to ride on a public road. Inspect your bicycle before every ride to ensure it is in proper working condition.
Optimize Your Visibility
Our experienced team of Denver bicycle accident lawyers have handled numerous cases in which lack of visibility is the main cause of bicycle accidents in Colorado. Bicycles are much smaller than standard passenger cars and can easily be missed by vehicle drivers. This risk is even greater due to the likelihood of distracted, careless and inattentive motor vehicle drivers.
Do what you can to boost your visibility while riding your bike. Wear brightly colored clothing, use reflective gear, avoid riding your bike at night, and install bike lights and reflectors. The more you can do to make yourself visible to others, the better for your overall safety.
Practice Road Safety
When you ride a bicycle on a public roadway in Colorado, you are subject to the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. You have the right to share the road with them, but you must also obey all applicable traffic laws.
Ride your bicycle in the same direction as traffic, not against it, and yield to others when appropriate. You must come to a complete stop at all red lights. Use hand signals to tell others when you plan on turning or stopping.
Keep your actions predictable. Do not weave in and out of traffic or abruptly cut a driver off. Obey roadway rules and try to keep at least three feet of distance between you and motor vehicles. When available, use a bicycle lane rather than sharing the road with cars.
Don’t Bike While Distracted
Always dedicate your full attention to the task of biking. Do not try to multitask while riding your bicycle, such as by using your phone, listening to music or a podcast, reading or writing, or eating and drinking. Remain alert and keep your eyes on the road in front of you. Scan ahead for hazards, such as potholes or cracked curbs, that could put you at risk.
If you get involved in a bicycle accident in Colorado despite your best efforts to stay safe, reach out to a Denver personal injury attorney at Manning Law for a free case consultation. We can help you explore your rights in terms of seeking financial compensation for your bike accident.