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Traffic safety: Sharing the road with bicycles

Motorists share the roads across the state with bicyclists every day. Unfortunately in doing so, collisions involving vehicles and bicycles occur all too often. The drivers, passengers, bicyclists and others involved in such crashes may suffer serious injuries or, in some cases, death.

Using the following precautions may help drivers avoid accidents involving bicyclists.

Drive with caution

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, driving with care when sharing the road with bicycles may help motorists avoid potentially serious or fatal collisions. To this end, drivers may keep watch for bicycles, slow down when coming upon cyclists, and allow cyclists extra time and space at intersections and when faced with road hazards.

Think of bikes as vehicles

When sharing the road with bicyclists, drivers may find it helpful to think of bikes as other vehicles on the roads. For instance, this may include allowing them the appropriate right of way and anticipating them to follow the rules of the road and traffic signs and signals.

Practice safe passing

Taking certain precautions when passing bicycles may help drivers prevent accidents. For example, motorists may ensure they have safe road and traffic conditions before passing a bicycle. Additionally, drivers should make sure to check over their shoulders before moving back into the original lane when passing a cyclist on the road. Connecticut state law requires drivers passing cyclists to allow a three-foot space between their vehicles and the bicycles.

Should collisions involving vehicles and bicycles occur, the cyclists may pursue legal action against the drivers involved to recover compensation for their injury-associated losses.

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