With so many serious bicycle accidents right here in Boulder, Colorado it is always a good idea to review the basic safety rules. The following has been republished from the City of Boulder website.
Safety Tips For Bicycles and Road Rules
Put a lid on it
Always wear a helmet. Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85 percent. Three out of four bicycling deaths are caused by head injury.
Lighten up and dress appropriately
And we don’t mean stick to this season’s hot colors. Wear light colored clothes/reflective wear at night. A headlight mounted to your handlebars and a rear reflector are required.
Check out cars
And not just for attractive drivers! Make eye contact with drivers. Assume they don’t see you. Try to keep a car door width away from parked cars when riding on the street.
Falling is not fun
Be aware of changing road conditions. Make turns and stops gradually on loose or slippery surfaces, or when riding in the rain. Slow down on unfamiliar streets. Be cautious when riding at sunrise or sunset. Watch your balance when riding in a crosswind and be sure to cross railroad tracks perpendicularly to prevent catching a wheel and falling.
“On your left”
Be courteous. Slower moving traffic should stay to the right on streets or paths. Give an audible signal when you pass a pedestrian or someone traveling more slowly than you are and maintain a safe passing distance.
Leave room for right-turning vehicles when stopped at a red light. Look behind you to see if a driver is signaling and move your bike to the left if necessary.
Turn it green
Bicycles can be detected by traffic signals. Stop with your wheels on the center line of the double loop or on the white lines of the bicycle marking in the appropriate lane, and the signal should detect you.
This ain’t the Tour de France
The speed limit on multi-use paths in the City of Boulder is 15 mph unless posted otherwise, which means that there is a reason to take it a little slower.
NEW Bicycle Safety Act
This law went into effect on August 5, 2009. It is geared to improve road safety for both bicyclists and motorists.
Here’s what this new law will mean to you while biking or driving.
3 Feet: Enjoy a little breathing room
Bicyclists get at least 3 feet of space when vehicles pass. To help give you 3 feet, motorists can cross a center line when clear to pass you safely.
Riding with friends
Two bicyclists may ride side-by-side when clear but please move to single-file to allow other vehicles to pass.
Be safe, be seen
Ride as far right as is safe. But that doesn’t mean you have to ride in the gutter – riding in the right half of the lane often is the safest and most visible spot.
Go with the flow
Your choice – bicyclists can ride to the far right or far left on a one-way street. Remember, still no riding upstream – ride in the same direction as traffic.
Keep traffic moving
Enjoy more freedom to safely pass a bicyclist by crossing the center line only when safe to do so. If not clear, simply ease up and wait for the next safe opportunity. By keeping three feet passing distance, you create a safer environment on the road.
Bicyclists easier to see
One of the challenges drivers face is not seeing a bicyclist on the road or seeing them at the last second without time to react. The new law allows bicyclists to ride where motorists are already looking so that you may adjust sooner and more safely.
Road is open for the public
Yes, bicycles are legal on public roads. Please treat everyone on the road with respect. It is illegal to swerve at, buzz, or throw things at bicyclists.
Pass other cars when safe
Before passing another car, first check that there are no bicyclists in the oncoming lane. This keeps you and the driver you are passing safe.
This information has been republished by Mann & Maximon Attorneys at Law. Stuart Mann and Josh Maximon are winning Bicycle Accident Lawyers. They practice Bicycle Accident Law in Boulder and serving Broomfield, Denver, Englewood and all of Colorado.