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Essential Bicycle Safety Tips

Riding a bicycle in Colorado could put your life at risk. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported the highest number of pedestrian deaths on record in 2023 (131), as well as 20 bicyclist deaths. Before you ride, learn the best bicycle safety tips to help you avoid an accident and stay safe.

Learn the Rules of the Road

Before you ride on a public road, you must have a firm understanding of the traffic rules and regulations that apply to bikers in Colorado. These laws – found mainly in Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-4-1412 – include the following:

  • Cyclists must ride in the same direction as the flow of traffic.
  • Cyclists should remain as far to the right-hand side of the road as is practicable, except when making a left turn, passing someone or avoiding a roadside hazard.
  • Cyclists must obey all traffic signs and signals, including stop signs, traffic lights and speed limits.

Following Colorado’s traffic laws is one of your legal responsibilities as a cyclist. Obeying these rules can keep you safe from an accident by making your movements more predictable to surrounding drivers.

Know Your Bike

The bicycle that you choose to ride is just as important as how you ride it in terms of safety and preventing an accident. Do your research and purchase the right bike for you. Consider factors such as where you plan on riding (e.g., city streets vs. mountain biking), your height, your age and your level of physical fitness. Inspect your bicycle’s equipment before each ride, including the brakes, chain and tires.

Wear a Helmet

In Colorado, there is no universal helmet law requiring bicycle helmets for riders of any age. Whether or not there is a law in place requiring you to wear a bicycle helmet, however, you should do so for your own safety.

Statistics show that wearing a bicycle helmet significantly reduces the risk of serious and fatal brain injuries in accidents. A Department-of-Transportation-approved and securely fastened bicycle helmet can protect your face, skull and brain from serious injury should you get involved in a bike accident.

Optimize Your Visibility

Many bicycle accidents occur because motor vehicle drivers do not see a cyclist until it is too late. Take steps to enhance your visibility, such as by wearing brightly colored clothing and a reflective vest. Limit the amount that you ride between the hours of dusk and dawn. If you must ride at night, be sure to have the correct headlamp and tail lamp or rear reflector as required by Colorado law.

What to Do if You Get in a Bicycle Accident in Colorado

Unfortunately, bicycle accidents can occur no matter how careful a cyclist behaves. You cannot control the actions of drivers around you. If you get into a bicycle accident in Fort Collins, get medical care without delay, even if you do not feel injured.

While you are still at the scene of the accident, take photos and exchange information with the driver who hit you. Do not admit fault for the accident or apologize to the driver. Report the accident to the police immediately.

Since Colorado is a fault-based insurance state, you can file an injury claim with the driver’s car insurance company. However, do not settle until you have spoken to a bicycle accident attorney. An attorney from Cannon Law can help you protect your rights and seek fair financial compensation. Contact us today for a free case review.