Being aware of your surroundings and sharing the road with others is crucial when it comes to navigating the roads in Colorado.
People on bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as people behind the wheel of a vehicle. Motorists should keep the following in mind when sharing the road with cyclists:
- Give cyclists room. Make sure you do not pass too closely.
- Drivers turning right at a red light should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting an approaching cyclist. Make sure to stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning.
- Yield to cyclists as you would to another motorist. Do not underestimate a cyclists speed. Yielding to a cyclist will help avoid turning in front of those traveling on the road or sidewalk.
- Obey the speed limit. When road conditions are rough, reduce speed. Drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist.
- When in a parking lot, at a stop sign, backing up or parking make sure to search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles.
Because Colorado is such an active state, it is very important to share the road when driving and keep an eye out for cyclists.
In 2019 there were 846 pedalcyclist fatalities, which accounted for 2.3% of all traffic fatalities during the year (NHTSA, 2019).
More than 3/4 of pedalcyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas (78%) as opposed to rural areas (22%) in 2019. Of those fatalities, 27% occurred at intersections, 64% occurred at locations that were not intersections, and 9% occurred at other locations, including but not limited to, shoulders/roadsides, parking lanes/zones, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and driveway accesses (NHTSA, 2019)
No matter the time of the year, bicyclist deaths occurred most between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
For more information for safety as a cyclist and as a motor vehicle driver interacting with cyclists please check out https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety.