Besides Colorado being one of the more fit states in the USA, it is also one of the most beautiful states. Add those two together, and you have many bicyclists that enjoy riding all over Denver and other Colorado cities on a regular basis.
However, more cyclists on the road also means the potential for more accidents. Below are a variety of ways to stay as safe as possible on a bicycle as well as tips for the motorist to avoid hitting a cyclist.
On the national average, .5 percent of the population commutes to work on a bicycle. In Denver, the number is 2.2 percent which is 4 times the national average. Since 2005, there has been a 57 percent increase in Denver commuters biking to work.
According to figures from the Denver Police Department, (DPD) there were 239 accidents involving bicycles/autos in 2011. In 2012, the number rose to 265. Unfortunately, the numbers are continuing to rise so we all must take extra precaution.
Tips for bicyclists to stay safe
- First and foremost we all know to wear a helmet. However, this is not the "end all" to be safe on a bike! Plenty of people have had fatal accidents on a bike even in a helmet.
- Find streets that aren't so busy! Yes, bike riders have rights and there are laws protecting the cyclists. However, what good are these laws if you are in a fatal bicycle accident? Try to find routes off the main thoroughfares to reduce the risk of an accident.
- Have plenty of lights on your bike and wear bright clothing at all times so motorists can see you!
- Don't take motorists by surprise, signal when you are turning. Make absolute certain that you are seen!
- It is amazing to see a cyclist on the phone, texting or even listening to music. PAY ATTENTION TO EVERYONE AROUND YOU!
- (PDF) The Colorado Bicycling Manual is an excellent tool to have to help keep you safe on the road. This also contains all the Colorado bicycle law information.
Tips for Motorists to Avoid Bicyclists
- Do not follow too close. You may think it is an acceptable distance between you and the bike but you must take extra precaution and stay back even further than you think you should!
- Respect the bicyclists! They do have a right on the road. Yes, some should probably reconsider what roads they drive on but they do have rights. WATCH OUT FOR THEM!
- When backing out of a parking spot or even your driveway, double and triple check to make sure there is no bike or other pedestrian in the way!
- Do not pass the cyclist too closely. You may get too close and cause them to actually crash.
- Always look for them when making a left-hand turn.
- Your impatience to get around cyclists could cause a major head-on collision. BE PATIENT!
Bottom line, cyclists and motorists need to have respect and watch out for one another. However, this does not always happen. If you have been injured in an accident caused by negligence, please call R. Mack Babcock, an experienced attorney representing injured bicyclists, for a free consultation.
Also, continue to browse our knowledge center for more information regarding bicycle and various pedestrian accidents.Enjoy your bike but please stay safe out there!
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