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Cyclists Get Three Feet. That’s the Law.


As the weather warms – cyclists are taking to Connecticut roadways in growing numbers.

Did you know that in this state, car and truck drivers must stay a safe distance from all cyclists they meet on the road?  This law, enacted in 2008, states: “safe distance means not less than three feet when the driver of a vehicle overtakes and passes a person riding a bicycle.”   Failure to do so can lead to fines.  Connecticut is currently one of the twenty-two states with this requirement.

Tips for avoiding an accident with a cyclist:

  • Pay particular attention to children on bicycles.  Their riding skills are often under-developed leading to unpredictable movements.  Always give a child on a bike as much room as possible and reduce your speed as you approach and pass them.  And don’t expect kids to know traffic laws.
  • Try to anticipate hazards a cyclist may encounter and give them room to maneuver.
  • Always reduce the speed of your car or truck when you encounter a cyclist of any age.
  • Bicycles are considered vehicles and should be granted the appropriate right of way on the road.
  • Scan for cyclists when approaching intersections.
  • Never blast your horn when coming up behind a cyclist.  Doing so may startle the rider causing them to lose control.
  • When parking on the road, always look to the road behind your vehicle before opening your car door.  Many accidents involving motorists and cyclists involve collisions with car and truck doors.
  • Make sure traffic conditions make passing a cyclist safe and always look over your shoulder before pulling back into your lane to make sure you are safely past the cyclist.
  • Never tailgate a cyclist. Should they fall for any reason, you need time to react to avoid an accident.

Safety tips for cyclists:

There are lots of things cyclists can do to reduce the risk of being hit by a car or truck.  Here are just a few:

  • Make yourself as visible as possible.  Brightly colored clothes with reflective patches are a must.  Clip-on flashing LED lights and a good quality headlamp are also critical for low light conditions.
  • Always wear a properly sized helmet when you ride.  And ALWAYS wear a helmet.
  • Always ride with the flow of traffic.
  • Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops.
  • Never ride with earbuds or earphones in your ears to listen to music.  Earphones substantially impair your ability to hear approaching vehicles.
  • Ride predictably – riding in a straight line as much as possible.  And if you are riding in areas with possible road hazards – be alert and give yourself plenty of time to adjust your path.

If you are ever injured while riding your bicycle on Connecticut roads, call a qualified Connecticut personal injury lawyer.  A knowledgeable Connecticut personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.

The lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have handled numerous cycling accident cases over our nearly 60 years serving the people of Connecticut.  And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area.

We have a great team dedicated to cycling cases. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind.  And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.

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