Cyclists at fault for several auto vs. bike crashes

DENVER - Contrary to popular belief, drivers are not always at fault when it comes to cyclist vs. auto accidents. Cyclists have been issued 264 tickets so far in 2014 for ignoring the rules of the road, according to Denver Police.

Denver Police say there were 330 accidents involving bicycles in 2013. So far, there have been 113 cyclist vs. auto accidents in 2014.

June is "Heads Up" month in Denver. "Heads Up" is a city-wide safety-awareness campaign asking drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to keep their heads up and be more aware of their surroundings.

Every Wednesday during the month of June, volunteers wearing bright yellow shirts will be monitoring several Denver intersections to educate commuters about proper behavior and the rules of sharing the road.

Here are some tips and rules about sharing the road from the Driver and Pedestrian Guide to Sharing the Road Safely.

  • Wear reflectors and light-colored clothing; small lights and reflective straps are inexpensive and can be found at local bike stores.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather; comfortable and stable footwear is especially helpful.
  • Warn others when approaching and allow plenty of space when passing slower pedestrians, especially when using a bicycle, wheelchair or scooter.
  • Use hand-signals when turning or changing lanes while bicycling.
  • Establish eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Don't assume that all drivers will yield.
  • Cross the street in crosswalks or at corners if crosswalks are not available. Jaywalking or crossing mid-street where no crosswalk is present is dangerous for everyone involved.
  • Follow pedestrian traffic signals. Never cross against the light, even when there is no traffic.
  • Plan your route and consider all options to travel safely. Traffic and lighting may vary by time of day. The shortest route may not be the safest.
  • Don't text, talk on the phone or use other portable electronic devices while walking, cycling or driving.
  • Navigate intersections as efficiently as possible. Pay attention to your surroundings—not your phone—when crossing streets.
  • Slow down around pedestrians, cyclists, intersections, and crosswalks.
  • Allow at least three feet between your car and cyclists or pedestrians when passing.
  • Be aware that some people might not be able to see your car or move quickly.
  • Never pass a car stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Stop one or two car lengths from a pedestrian crossing a street where there is no signal, so drivers behind you can see him.
  • Yield to oncoming cyclists when turning left at an intersection, just as you would for motorists.
  • Be aware of people with service animals and white canes.
  • Don't pull into a crosswalk when waiting to make a turn.
  • Yield to pedestrians when turning right.
  • Be aware that pedestrians and cyclists can't hear your electric or hybrid car and be especially careful in parking lots and when backing up.
  • Be aware that loud noises, like car radios, can impair the navigation of people using auditory cues for street crossings.
  • Clean your windows and turn on your headlights for better visibility during rain, snow or fog conditions. In snow, brush off your headlights and taillights.
  • Be aware of the limited view provided by back-up cameras.
  • Watch out for "hidden pedestrians" behind snow banks and other visual obstacles—especially children, people using wheelchairs and scooters.
  • Be aware of factors that might impact your driving ability, for example, medications, alcohol, fatigue, weather conditions, and poor lighting and visibility.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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