Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.

Safety concerns for people riding bicycles this spring

For Connecticut residents who are looking forward to going for a bicycle ride now that spring weather is starting to arrive, there are some important safety concerns to be aware of. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps track of detailed statistics about bicycle safety in America, and some of these statistics can point out trends that bicyclists should be sure to know.

For starters, although it may sound obvious, in any collision involving a motor vehicle and a bicyclist, it is the bicyclist who is most likely to suffer injuries, or even fatality. Bicyclists, despite the rising use of bicycle helmets, have relatively little safety gear that can minimalize the effects of being struck by a car. As a result, bicyclists who are hit by motor vehicles often suffer broken bones, concussions and even spinal injuries.

To attempt to minimize the deadly impact of collisions between motor vehicles and bicyclists, the NHTSA points out that there is a certain time of day when most of these types of accidents occur: evening time, between about 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Bicyclists, particularly those in highly-populated urban areas, may want to avoid this time of day for a ride, or at least maintain a heightened sense of awareness.

Now that spring is here, many more Connecticut residents will consider riding their bicycle to work. NHTSA statistics show that over a 12-year period - from 2000 to 2012 - there was a whopping increase of 64 percent more people who elected to ride a bicycle to and from work. These bicyclists should be aware of the danger of drivers on the roads that they will be near, particularly the danger of distracted drivers.

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