Are Careless Drivers a Danger to Cyclists?

A 40-year-old Longmont man was sentenced earlier this month for his role in injuring a cyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the driver had pulled onto the other side of the road and then moved back as the cyclists were coming around a curve.

A world-renowned cyclist riding with a larger group was knocked off his bike and seriously injured. In the aftermath of the accident, the injured cyclist had to be airlifted to the hospital and placed in the ICU due to a traumatic brain injury and broken bones.

How Badly Can I Be Injured by a Careless Driver?

Cycling accidents have the potential to be fatal for obvious reasons – cyclists have almost no protection against wayward drivers who do not see them in time. Being hit by a car or truck while riding a bicycle can lead to injuries that include traumatic brain injuries, broken bones and spinal cord injuries.

In 2012, 726 cyclists were killed in auto accidents and an additional 14,210 were injured. Cycling accidents cost the U.S. over $4 billion a year in funeral and medical costs.

Cyclists are not easy to see on the road, but drivers still have a responsibility to keep their eyes open.  Just last month, the Boulder City Council had to pay $30,000 to an injured cyclist who had been hit by an inattentive cop making a right turn. Carelessness is no excuse when operating a multi-ton vehicle, and daydreaming and driving often end in disaster.

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Did you know?: Attaching reflective tape to your bike or wearing neon, fluorescent colors when riding at night can greatly increase your visibility to drivers and reduce your chances of being in an accident.

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