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Back to basics: Bicycle safety in Connecticut.

A new startup is aiming at making over one of the oldest and, in most cases, safest means of transportation. The goal: change bicycles into electric-hybrid vehicles using a smartphone app. The makers behind this novel idea intend to increase the number of people that rely on bicycles for transportation. The process works by installing a special motorized wheel onto the back of the bicycle and syncing it to a smartphone. Once functional, the motorized wheel can increase the distance and elevation a bicycle rider can cover.

Although this new device is not yet widely used, it serves as a reminder that bicycles continue to offer a great mode of transportation. In an effort to help better ensure that riders are safe, Connecticut’s Department of Transportation encourages cyclists to follow these tips to help reduce the risk of involvement in a bicycle accident:

  • Use safe equipment, including a helmet. Many people store their bicycles during the winter. Before taking it out for that first ride, look it over. Double check the brakes to make sure they are not overly rusted, inspect the tires for adequate air pressure, check the handle bars to see if anything needs to be tightened and spin the wheels to make sure they do not wobble. If riding during the winter, it may be a good idea to invest in special snow tires.
    Also, before getting on the bike make sure to put on a helmet. Not only does it help greatly reduce the risk of serious injury but, for those under the age of sixteen, wearing a helmet is required by Connecticut state law.
  • Increase visibility. CTDOT notes that increasing visibility can reduce the rider’s risk of involvement in an accident. Some tips: wear bright clothes, add stickers to a helmet, make eye contact with drivers and add reflective items to the bike and clothes. Head and tail lights are also recommended for the bike’s pedals, frame and wheels.
  • Be aware of what is happening. It is easy to tune into a music device and enjoy the ride, but this could set the rider up for an accident. In addition to tuning into the environment around you, it is also wise to proactively avoid accidents by watching for potholes, storm drains, children who may run in front of the bicycle and inattentive drivers.
  • Follow the rules. State law considers bicycles vehicles. As a result, they are required to be ridden on the right side of the road, in a single file and must obey traffic signs and lights.

Unfortunately, even when these tips are followed accidents can happen. Those involved in a bicycle accident should contact an experienced Connecticut bicycle accident lawyer to discuss their situation and better ensure their legal rights and potential remedies are protected.