The Weather is Warming Up…Keep These Bicycle Safety Tips in Mind
Given the wild weather some of the country has experienced so far this year, it may seem as though winter will never make way for warm, sunny days — particularly in various areas of Colorado. But we all know warm days are just around the corner, so it is crucial for cyclists to keep some routine safety tips in mind to stay as safe as possible on Colorado roadways.
Be Sure to Follow the Rules of the Road
Some cyclists may not realize that they are required to abide by the same rules of the road as those driving automobiles. Bikers, just like drivers, can be held accountable for violating area traffic laws. That said, the following serves as a reminder of some of the rules that must be followed:
- Always ride your bike on the right side of the lane WITH traffic — never against traffic.
- If there is a bike lane available, use it. If not, be sure to ride on the paved shoulders of the road, where available.
- When biking with others on curvy canyon roads that do not have bike lanes, be sure to ride single file.
- If you are biking at night, ensure your bike is equipped with a headlight, taillight and reflectors.
- Be sure to use appropriate hand signals when making turns, slowing or stopping.
- Always protect yourself with adequate safety equipment, such as a helmet, glasses, and brightly-colored/reflective clothing.
- Never assume you have the right-of-way when sharing the road with motor vehicles. Also never assume drivers see you. The best way to ensure you are seen is to make eye contact with drivers before turning or making any sudden maneuvers.
A Note About Children on Bikes
Kids, whether they are walking, playing on a playground or biking, are extremely vulnerable to a variety of incidents that can occur in any place and at any given moment. Much of a child’s safety is dependent on their ability to make proper decisions after being guided and advised ahead of time by an adult.
When children fail to make the right choice, the results can be devastating. That is why it is imperative for parents and caregivers to keep in mind that children generally have very limited experience in dealing with motor vehicle traffic and limited knowledge of traffic safety.
Children generally have a number of limitations — many of which can cause them to be unable to make sound decisions at a critical time while biking. For instance, according to Drive Smart Colorado, a child’s field of vision is about one-third less than that of an adult. Moreover, children typically do not have the ability to judge the speed or distance of an automobile.
Also, children tend to focus on only one thing at a time — and if they’re riding their bikes with friends and family, the focus is likely not going to be on the traffic around them. They often do not have a strong sense of reality and their sense of danger is usually limited as well.
And of course, we all know that children tend to copy what they see their older siblings or parents do, so if the adults in their lives practice poor riding behaviors, they, too, will like imitate those behaviors.
We at Levine Law want everyone to stay safe as they hop on their bikes this season. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bike accident, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law today.