With the change in weather, many people in Connecticut and across the country will be dusting off their bicycles and getting ready to ride. Bicycling can be a fun and healthy activity, but cyclists also need to understand their risks and drivers should be aware they can be sharing the road with bicycles at any time.
The League of American Bicyclists is sponsoring National Bike Month throughout the month of May. The purpose of this event is to highlight the many attractions of riding a bicycle, which range from increased exercise to environmental advantages to just plain fun. Additionally, National Bike Month focuses on safety concerns. Bicyclists are at a significant disadvantage compared to motor vehicles in traffic. They lack safety features such as seatbelts and airbags, and they are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries when struck by a vehicle or if they lose control and fall.
The good news is that not many bicyclists are killed in Connecticut, as compared to other states. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were three cyclist fatalities in Connecticut in 2017, down from six in 2016. However, even one bicyclist death is one too many. It is imperative for car and truck drivers to constantly be on alert for bicyclists sharing the roads and to practice safe driving habits. Bicyclists may also reduce their chances of a serious injury by wearing the proper protective gear and biking defensively. A negligent driver may be held liable for the medical expenses of a bicyclist after an accident.