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Cyclists can stay safe with a few precautions

Bicyclists are out on the roads more than ever today. Part of the reason is because gasoline was expensive for several years. Another reason is because it's good exercise. Regardless of the reason you choose to be on the roads on your bicycle, it's important that you can stay safe.

Between 2000 and 2009, the number of commuters riding bicycles grew 70 percent across the entire nation. The Northeast saw an increase of up to 127 percent, showing how popular cycling has become. As a result of this, it's highly important that drivers and cyclists know how to be safe on the roads.

What can you do to stay safe when you ride your bike on the roads?

Remember to follow the same direction as traffic if you plan to drive on the road. Don't ride on the sidewalk, since you could inadvertently injure a pedestrian. Riding on the sidewalk is restricted to those aged 12 and under.

Bicycles are considered road vehicles, so be sure you follow all the rules of the road. If there is a red light or no turn on red sign, obey it. It could save your life.

If you are riding on a street that does not have a bike lane, ride as far to the right as possible. If you are keeping up with traffic, ride anywhere in the lane. It is illegal to ride a bike on expressways, interstates, thruways and highways. The vehicles there travel so fast that any collision with a cyclist would be likely to be fatal.

If you're hit despite taking precautions to stay safe on the roads, you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent driver. Every case is different, so keep information about yours for when you're ready to see if you can make a claim.

Source: Greatist, "Road Bike Safety 101: How to Get There, Get Fit, and Not Get Hit," Sophia Breene, accessed July 25, 2017

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