During the summer our roads are crawling with bikers of all ages and sizes. There are little ones who are learning for the first time. Senior citizens who can still enjoy the breeze on their face. There are casual riders and serious bikers. All of these folks get a chance to experience just how wonderful the city of New Haven and the surrounding communities are for riding a bike.
As the weather starts to get colder and the breeze from riding your bike starts to become a little bit more biting, there are fewer and fewer people out riding bikes. That doesn’t mean that there are fewer and fewer chances for someone to get into a New Haven bicycle accident. In fact, when there are less bikers on the road, those that are driving cars and trucks can get comfortable not sharing the road and start to pay less attention to those that are not driving cars. This can become dangerous and put anyone on bicycles at risk of getting injured.
It is important for those that are on four wheels to be paying close attention to those that are on two wheels, anytime of the year, but especially as weather conditions start to change and the days become shorter. It can be challenging for a cyclist to be seen at certain times of the day during the autumn months, but there are still plenty who like to get a few last rides in before the weather really turns cold and biking becomes less enjoyable.
While it is important for those driving along our city streets to be on the lookout for cyclists, the reverse is true as well, especially for those cyclists who are truly sharing the road with cars and trucks. If you are hopping on your bike and riding in the road, you should take the following steps to maintain your safety so you do not get injured in an accident.
1.) Obey all signals and signs. When a sign says do not cross, you should not cross the road, even if it appears that it may be safe to do so. All posted signs along roadways apply to you as a cyclist just as they apply to those that are driving in a car or truck.
2.) Always ride in the direction that traffic is flowing. This can be one that trips cyclists up sometimes because they often confuse which way they are supposed to be riding and on which side of the street, but if you just remember that you should be going in the same direction as the cars that are closest to you, you should be all set. This is a critical one to remember.
3.) Pretend you are a car and follow all of the rules of the road, just as a car would. When you approach a red light, you should stop. If there is no right turn on red, you should not turn. Rules of the road like this that apply to drivers of a car also apply to you even though you are only on two wheels.
4.) Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. Probably the only people more vulnerable to an accident and an injury than you as a cyclist are pedestrians who are also out and about enjoying the city. It is your responsibility to give them the right of way at crosswalks so you do not collide with them and injure them or yourself.
Riding your bicycle through the streets of New Haven can be such a fun way to get around. Even in the fall there are so many more days ahead that will be calling you to ditch your car and ride your bike. Go ahead and do it, just be aware that because there are fewer cyclists on the road the chances of a New Haven bicycle accident may actually increase and not decrease. If you follow the rules of the road for cyclists while sharing the road with cars you will do just fine and avoid injury.
Injuries do happen, no matter how well you stick to the rules. If you get injured you may need to speak with an attorney who can review your situation. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will speak with you about the particular situation you find yourself in and work with you to protect your long-term interests.