I was out enjoying the unseasonably warm weather in Connecticut this past weekend and noticed several people that were riding bicycles. I was also surprised to see some children who were riding bicycles on the side of the road and were not wearing any type of head protection. As adults, we must engage in a number of safety precautions before heading out on a bicycle, but as parents, it is imperative that we strictly monitor our children as this can be a hazardous activity.
Connecticut bicycle accidents happen far too frequently and due to the very unprotected nature of being on a bicycle, the injuries can be quite significant. In a number of cases, the bicycle rider may even die. It is crucial to be aware of the risks involved in riding a bicycle and the potential dangers that we are facing when we go out for an otherwise leisurely ride.
There are several things that we can do, and we can teach our children, which can help reduce the risk of being involved in a bicycle accident. It is important to keep in mind the following risks and hazards:
Inattentive or Distracted Riding
Many people think that because they are not in a motor vehicle, and are only riding a bicycle, they do not have to be as attentive when riding a bicycle. Unfortunately, too many cyclists ride their bicycles in either an inattentive manner or are distracted and suffer serious injuries as a result of being involved in an accident. You should never take your eyes off the road. You should not be using your cell phone or wearing headphones and talking on your phone or engaging in any other activities that distract you from the important task of safely operating your bicycle.
Many hazards can confront you while riding a bicycle. Objects on the roadway, animals running out to the street, potholes, sand or other slippery surfaces, cars not obeying traffic laws, and many other situations that can result in an accident. The faster you drive, the less likely you are to be able to stop in time or to avoid some type of hazard.
Riding Too Close to Traffic
When riding a bicycle on a roadway, you should be going in the same direction as the traffic on your side of the street. You should also make sure that you are not that close to traffic.
Lane Merging, Traffic Signals, and Intersections
In Connecticut, bicycles have to follow the same laws as other motor vehicles on the roadway. Bicyclists must obey traffic lights and stop signs. You should also drive defensively and be on the lookout for cars that are not following the motor vehicle laws or perhaps do not see you until the last minute.
Driveways, Parking Lots, and Sidewalks
Whenever you are driving on or near a driveway, parking lot, or sidewalk, you need to be hypersensitive as to the fact that there could be a lot more activity and hazards that could appear out of nowhere. Cars may drive out of driveways, others might speed across parking lots, and people might unexpectedly walk onto the sidewalk. Be aware of your surroundings, and be prepared to stop with little to no time.
You can also take several safety precautions such as wearing a helmet, using lights, wearing reflective or bright clothing, and keeping your distance from motor vehicles out on the roadway.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a CT bicycle accident, then you should contact an experienced Connecticut bicycle accident lawyer at the earliest possible moment so you can understand what you should be doing and what you should not be doing. Our Connecticut personal injury attorneys have decades of experience in representing injured bicyclists and the specific problems that they present. We are happy to give you advice over the telephone and send you a package of materials, including several of the books that we have written that will assist you in getting more money for your Connecticut bicycle accident case.