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Safety tips for bicyclists in and around Hartford

Until fairly recently, biking was largely regarded as an activity that only kids participated in and enjoyed. However, today bicycles are enjoying a surge in popularity in cities and towns across the U.S. and more adults than ever are choosing to bike or walk to work. While there are numerous physical benefits associated with biking, there are also many significant dangers including the risk of being hit by a motor vehicle.

Individuals who choose to bike in cities like Hartford must be especially vigilant when sharing the road with cars and trucks. In cases where a bicyclist is hit by or collides with a car or truck, he or she is likely to suffer serious, debilitating and even fatal injuries. With stakes this high, it's imperative that anyone who chooses to ride a bicycle understands ways to do so in a safe and responsible manner.

While riding a bicycle on the street with other motor vehicles, a rider must abide by the same traffic laws and courtesies as any driver. This includes stopping for red lights, signaling turns and keeping distractions to a minimum. In addition to following traffic laws, bicyclists are also encouraged to ensure that a bike is well maintained and equipped with important safety equipment like reflectors, a bell or horn and a flashing light. Bicyclists should also wear brightly-colored and reflective clothing as doing so helps ensure that riders are more visible to motorists.

For anyone who rides a bicycle, the most important piece of safety equipment is a helmet. If a bicyclist is hit by a car or truck, it's highly likely that he or she will fall or be thrown off a bike. While an injury like a broken bone is painful, over time, it also heals. The same, however, cannot be said of a traumatic brain injury. Damage suffered to the brain is permanent and the negative side-effects of a TBI may include everything from short-term memory loss to severe cognitive and physical impairments.

Source:, "Bicycles," Sept. 24, 2015 

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