Lights and reflectors on BikeThis past weekend, I was afforded the wonderful opportunity to attend the 5th annual Utah Bike Summit. This year’s summit provided a wonderful venue for cycling enthusiasts to gather around, share, and grow the hobby they love. Bicycle and Trail Advocates, bike industry representatives, Utah tourism representatives, city planners, and city and state officials all gathered to promote this years theme, Keep Utah Rolling!

We were very excited to welcome noted cycling experts and officials to visit with us, including a keynote address from Tim Blumenthal, president of  the Bikes Belong Coalition. The Bikes Belong Coalition is dedicated to putting more people on bikes more often. Tim also directs the Bikes Belongs Foundations, which is focused on creating safety awareness, as well as building new safer places where children and adults can enjoy their passion for cycling. They also sponsor new safety developments in helmets and bike construction. With a combined annual budget of just under $5 million, these 2 organizations make up the largest non-profit bicycle advocacy program in the world.

In addition to other exemplary speakers and a lively round table of experts, I also had the chance to share some important facts about bicycle safety and law. I also covered some common questions regarding what kind of insurance problems cyclists face in the unfortunate event of an accident. Below are some of the key points I was able to share.

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists

  • Use a bike lane if there is one, otherwise you are entitled to use lanes of traffic. 
  • If you are traveling at a slower speed then the motor traffic, stay as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway.
  • Unsafe or superseding conditions may negate this, such as passing, potholes,  or turning left.
  • If you ride with friends, never ride more than 2 abreast, and remember to go single file if you are impeding traffic or on an excessively narrow roadway. Motorists are required to give you sufficient space when passing.

Be sure to signal

  • You may not be required to signal continuously, but be sure to let others around you know of your intentions. 


  • a half-hour before sunset until a half-hour before sunrise, state law requires to you where lights or reflectors visible from 500 ft on the front, back, and sides of your bike. This also applies when visibility conditions are poor during the day time. (<1000 ft.)

Insurance Types

  • Liability
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
  • Theft Insurance

Motorists must carry the state minimum of 25/65/15 on their policy

Which means what?

  • Covers $25,000 of damages per person (Medical expenses, lost, wages, pain & suffering)
  • If two or more people are injured, maximum coverage is $65,000 per accident
  • Covers $15,000 in property damage.

This presents some problems, because Liability won’t pay anything until settlement, which usually lasts the 30 days there exists to investigate and determine fault. PIP insurance is there to cover the gap, pays the first $3,000 dollars of your medical expenses.

Do not leave scene without obtaining insurance information

I cannot state this enough, even if you do not think you are injured or hurt in anyway, if you are involved in an accident, demand to obtain all pertinent information before either party leaves.

Also, make sure you have health insurance at all times when riding. PIP limits can be reached quite easily in a severe accident, and health insurance can cover you until settlement.

What if at fault party is uninsured?

On your own auto insurance, you can have UM (uninsured motorist coverage) which will pay for damages to you in events such as drivers without insurance, hit and runs, and phantom vehicle accidents. 

Do not waive your UM, or UIM coverage. It is an essential safety net in a world of unknown variables and drivers without insurance.


For the full presentation, please feel free to review the slide show below.

Image courtesy of Josh Larios