If you are a cycling fan, you can hardly wait for summer months in Connecticut to get out on the road, or the mountain trail. There are also many health-conscious individuals in New Haven who love to ride their bicycle to work, of course using the bike paths in downtown New Haven.
Riding a bicycle can be great fun but you must remain careful of other vehicles using the roads.
While car drivers are supposed to share the roads with cyclists, a lot of drivers feel differently, especially during rush hour.
Connecticut has some laws for cyclists that you should always follow, including:
- Always wear a helmet when riding your cycle on the road. It will protect your skull in case of an accident. It can also prevent major head injuries. In Connecticut cyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet. Over the age of 16, it is strongly encouraged to prevent any head trauma during an accident.
- Give way to pedestrians just as you expect car drivers to give you the way. Automobiles are required to yield to pedestrians. Cyclists should do the same.
- Ride to the right of the road with traffic to your left. You should ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Always Keep your hands on the handlebar when riding on the road.
- Make sure your cycle has a reflector at the back and a white light at the front to make yourself highly visible to other drivers. It is illegal to ride a bike after dark without a light on it.
- In Connecticut, you are not allowed to ride a bicycle with loose shoelaces. They also prohibit headphones in your ears while riding.
- It is against the law to ride with more than one person on a bike unless the bike is designed for multiple passengers.
- Just as the driver of a car you should obey all traffic signs and signals. It is not OK to run a stop sign or red light if you’re on a bicycle.
- If bike paths are available (they are in downtown New Haven) utilize them.
Give signals using your hand
Cyclists do not have the luxury of a loud horn or traffic signals to alert other drivers on the road. You can easily be hit by a speeding car if you do not give an appropriate signal when approaching an intersection. Raise your left arm when turning left and right arm when turning right. Use your left arm to make an inverted L when you want to stop.
Pay attention, especially at busy intersections, for drivers who are distracted as they may not notice your hand signals.
Stay Alert When Riding on the Road
Talk to any personal injury lawyer and he will tell you that many car and truck accidents on the road occur because of the use of mobile phones by drivers.
While you should not use your cell phone when riding your bike, you should also be careful about other distracted drivers who might hit you.
Distracted driving laws apply to bicyclists as well as drivers.
Is Your Bike Safe for The Road?
Finally, make sure that your cycle is fit for riding on the road. Always check the brakes and air pressure in the tires when taking your cycle out of your home. Test your bike in the safety of your own property if it has not been used in a while.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another driver it’s important that you speak to a personal injury lawyer in New Haven as soon as possible. It’s important to speak with an attorney who understands Connecticut laws regarding cyclists, and how the bike paths in New Haven and surrounding areas work.