If you live in or around the Denver area, you never have to look far to see someone on their bicycle. Some people commute to and from work or school on their bicycle. Others hit the trails as often as they can.
Regardless of when, how often and where you ride your bicycle, it’s important that your safety always come first. More specifically, you want to take as many steps as you can to prevent an accident. Here’s where you can start:
- Take the bicycle lane: When a bicycle lane is available to you, it’s the best and safest place to ride. It doesn’t guarantee your safety, but motor vehicles are not supposed to drive here.
- Beware of opening doors: Just the same as moving vehicles, those that are parked pose a risk to anyone riding a bicycle. Imagine yourself zooming past a row of parked vehicles. Everything is going as planned, just to see someone a few yards ahead open their door. If you can’t quickly get out of the way, you may strike it head on. And even if you’re successful in swerving, it could result in an accident with a motor vehicle.
- Take special caution at intersections: If you’re traveling through an intersection, make note of all the vehicles around you. This includes those coming from the opposite direction, cross traffic and vehicles making a right turn from the same direction.
- Don’t spook pedestrians: Pedestrians and other bicyclists can cause an accident just the same as a driver. When possible, slow down around pedestrians and cross behind them. If you spook someone, they could leap into your lane of travel, thus knocking you to the ground.
- Use hand signals: You don’t have turn signals like a car, but you can use your hands to tell others what you’re doing. It may feel silly at first, but it can help keep you safe.
While it’s not possible to guarantee your safety when riding a bicycle, you can take steps to reduce the risk of an accident.
If the worst happens, seek medical attention, check with your insurance company to determine if you can file a claim and then consider legal action against the negligent party.