Over the years, we have represented a number of individuals who have been seriously injured in bicycle accidents in Connecticut. Some of these individuals are serious athletes who competed in triathlons on a regular basis, others ride in weekend bicycle clubs and still others ride on occasion for recreational purposes and for exercise. The reasons for these accidents are quite varied so it would be important to point out a number of issues that are present in Connecticut bicycle accident cases.
Cyclists Have the Same Rights and Responsibilities as Motorists
The first thing to keep in mind is that the law in Connecticut states that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as do motorists so they must comply with all motor vehicle laws when riding their bikes. Some of the things that you would want to be aware of are as follows:
- As a bicycle rider you must obey all traffic signals: stop at red lights and stop signs and signal when turning;
- You can only ride with the traffic with some limited exceptions which could include: if you are passing a vehicle traveling in the same direction; if you are going to make a left-hand turn at an intersection; if you need to avoid dangerous conditions or objects; riding on a one-way street; while making a right-hand turn in a dedicated turning lane; and riding in areas where there are separate bike paths. If you do not fall under one of the stated statutory exceptions then you should ride on the right-hand side of the road;
- You should ride with no more than two cyclists next to each other and be aware of the traffic around you;
- Children under 16 years of age are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle; and
- You are permitted to ride on a sidewalk, making sure that you yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and alert them as to your presence by making some type of noise unless this is prohibited by a municipal statute or law.
Do Not Drink or Use Drugs and Then Ride a Bicycle
Additionally, as a cyclist you should not ride after drinking or using drugs, you should not have any distractions while riding and you should engage in good safety techniques. It is a good idea to wear a helmet, make sure your bike is in good mechanical order, wear reflective clothing, have reflectors and lights on your bike, and exercise extreme caution while riding on the roadways.
Be Very Mindful of Your Surroundings and Follow the Rules of the Road
If you follow the safety tips and laws while operating your bicycle you can help to greatly reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. Although you would expect other drivers to follow the rules of the road and grant the right-of-way when appropriate, you should keep in mind that this is not always the case so that you must be hyper-vigilant when riding your bike.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact us.