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How can cyclists stay safe on the road?

Cyclists in Denver face a myriad of risks when on the road. While they share the same rights and responsibilities as passenger vehicles, many motorists don't respect cyclists, which can lead to serious and devastating injuries. With May being National Bike Month, the National Safety Council explains what you can do to reduce your risk of injury on the road. 

One of the biggest risks facing cyclists is many drivers fail to recognize their presence. You can increase visibility by wearing the right gear, such as bright colors and reflective materials. This is especially important when riding at night. In this case, be sure your bike is also outfitted with reflectors as well as flashing lights to ensure you're visible as you ride. 

Also, be aware that you must follow the rules like all other motorists. When turning, use hand signals to alert others of your actions. This is especially true at intersections. Many accidents between cyclists and vehicles happen at intersections, so it's crucial that you make your intentions known. You should also exercise caution when turning, even if you have the right-of-way. When riding alongside parked cars, remain alert and aware. Many drivers will open the doors of their parked cars without look for bicyclists first, which can lead to serious injury. 

If you are involved in an accident, a helmet may save your life. When buying a helmet, make sure it fits well to offer optimal protection. It should offer a snug fit, with the helmet sitting level on your head above your eyebrows. You must also make sure the chin strap is tight enough. A good rule of thumb is no more than two fingers should be able to fit between the strap and your chin. Finally, a well-fitting helmet should not move around on your head, as this can compromise its protection. 

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