Colorado ranks number 14 in bicycle deaths per capita, reports GOVERNING Magazine. On average, there are about 10 deaths of cyclists in the state each year, but these figures are increasing, not declining. There are even more non-fatal accidents involving bicycles and autos.
Now that the weather is nice, more cyclists will be out on the road. As a cyclist, you should do everything you can to protect yourself and stay safe when you are out for a ride.
How to increase your safety
First, you need to know the laws in your community. Many local ordinances prohibit bikes on the sidewalk. It might also be illegal for you to ride against the flow of traffic. Here are some things you should also consider:
- At an intersection, wait behind a vehicle instead of to the right. You will be more visible to the driver and you can see what the car is planning to do.
- Be consistent and predictable. Do not weave in and out of parked vehicles along the side of the road.
- Ride defensively. Be on the lookout for hazards along the road. Do not expect that cars will see you.
- Keep your bike in good condition. Make sure you inspect your brakes regularly.
- Do not ride so far to the right that you cannot avoid an emergency situation, such as riding into a pothole, puddle of water or parked car.
- Always wear a helmet, even for short trips.
What to do after an accident with a vehicle
A bicycle accident can be devastating for you, who doesn’t have 4,000 pounds of metal to protect your body. If you are seriously injured, you should discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you make sure the insurance company of the driver takes care of your injuries. You may need an advocate to protect your rights.