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How safe is it to bike in Connecticut?

As a bicycling commuter and enthusiast in Connecticut, you may wonder about the safety of biking in the state, particularly in urban areas. According to Connecticut by the Numbers, while the years 2010 through 2012 saw a 16 percent rise in U.S. bicyclist casualties, Connecticut’s rate of bike-related deaths dropped. According to the most recent statistics, 2012 saw only four cyclist deaths, while eight occurred in 2011.

One of the reasons for this decrease is the introduction of engineering strategies designed with bikers in mind. Many roads, such as East Hartford’s Route 44, have been altered to allow you your own lane when commuting via bicycle. The idea behind road changes such as this is to inspire you to use your bicycle for transportation and ensure your safety on the road. Many kinds of transportation, such as biking and walking, are also stressed in a 2014 Connecticut Department of Transportation policy, with safety an emphasis for all of them.

Safety measures such these are needed because of the increase in bicyclists. One study has found that while 21 percent of bicycle fatalities in 1975 were adults, adult bicycle casualties increased to 84 percent in 2012. This is partly because health and traffic concerns have led to the emphasis on bicycling as an alternative to driving, resulting in more cycling commuters.

One representative from a Connecticut biking organization has said that roads designed solely for cars and distracted driving are factors that can harm you and other commuters who do not drive. Since 2014, there have been consequences in place in the event that you or another biker is injured or killed. According to the 2014 Vulnerable User bill, drivers must pay a fine if they are driving recklessly and hurt you while you are biking responsibly.

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