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Following rules of road doesn't always prevent bike accidents

As a bicyclist, you should follow the rules of the road at all times. When you do this, you're taking a big step toward preventing a serious accident in which you could be injured. Unfortunately, just because you follow the rules of the road, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll never be involved in an accident. Instead, all it takes is one mistake by a driver, such as running a stop sign, in order to cause a crash.

Below are several basic rules of the road:

1. Ride with the flow of traffic

It often sounds like a good idea to drive into the flow of traffic, as this allows you to see what's coming. However, this is the wrong approach.

2. Use a bike lane when available

This isn't always possible, but if there is a bike lane this is the best place to be.

3. Obey all traffic laws

Just because you are on a bicycle doesn't mean you can ignore traffic laws, such as lane markings, signals, and signs. Just the same as motor vehicle operators, you should follow these laws no matter what.

4. Stay alert

You never know what's going on around you, so make sure you remain alert at all times. This means watching for approaching vehicles, avoiding road debris, and never becoming distracted (such as by a cellphone).

5. Keep an eye out for parked cars

In addition to moving traffic, don't forget that parked cars also pose a risk. For example, somebody in a parked vehicle could open one's door, thus causing an accident, called being "doored."

Along with the above, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also notes that bicyclists should always wear the appropriate safety equipment, such as a helmet. Not only does this give you some peace of mind, but it can help to prevent serious injury in the event of an accident.

There is no denying the fact that following the rules of the road can help you remain safe as a bicyclist. However, this is no guarantee.

For example, you could be doing everything right, such as driving in a bike lane, just for a vehicle to run a red light and cause an accident. This isn't something you did wrong, but it happened nonetheless.

As one of our Connecticut readers, you're well aware that many people throughout the state enjoy riding their bike. If you're one of these people, if you find yourself involved in an accident, you should do the following: Call for medical help, receive the necessary treatment, and then learn more about your legal rights.

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