Riding a bike instead of driving a car or taking public transportation has many benefits. Cycling saves money and helps the environment. Even if you don’t cycle every day, riding on the weekends is an excellent way of keeping in shape. But you always want to be safe when you cycle, as navigating the roadways can be dangerous. The most common cycling accidents where you may want hire a lawyer are car drivers opening the doors and vehicles pulling out in front of the cyclist.
Below are a few tips that will keep you safe while you’re out on your bike.
Ride with the Flow of Traffic
First, you need to be sure you’re riding on the right side of the street. You always want to ride with traffic. This means you should be going in the same direction cars next to you instead of driving towards incoming vehicles. This helps decrease accidents and ensures that oncoming drivers can see you.
Use Hand Signals
While your bike may not turn signals like cars, you can still signal with your hands. Indicating when you’re going to turn or what you’re about to do helps drivers understand your intentions and act accordingly. Never cut off cars or other cyclists. You also always want to look around you before you turn. Watch for vehicles and other cyclists who may be making a left or right-hand turn before you signal and turn yourself.
Don’t Weave Through Traffic
Because bikes are smaller than cars, it may be tempting to weave in and out of traffic to get ahead. Doing so, however, is dangerous. Riding unpredictably makes it much more likely that a driver won’t see you or won’t realize what you’re about to do. Remember, even though you’re not in a car, you are still expected to follow the road’s basic rules, and that includes driving in an orderly manner.
The Street is Safer than the Sidewalk
Some cyclists think that riding on the sidewalk is safer because they aren’t near cars at all. However, this is not the case. Bicycles should always be ridden on the street, and you should always ride in the bike lane if one is available. Cycling on the sidewalk may be against the law in your city. It can also be dangerous if there are many pedestrians around. You won’t be able to ride as fast as you usually would, and there may be hazards such as dips, fire hydrants, and other obstacles on the sidewalk that you will need to avoid. Overall, it’s safer and more comfortable to ride on the street.
Keep an Eye on Parked Cars
Just because a car is parked on the side of the street doesn’t mean you can ignore it. You need to recognize when a car is parked and when a driver has just pulled over to the side. Also, watch for cars that are about to pull out or back up. If a car is parked and someone is inside, they could suddenly open their car door. Watch for this, and be prepared to stop or swerve out of the way if the lane next to you is clear. If it’s not, it’s better to attempt to stop, so you want to be aware enough that you have room to do so.
Wear the Appropriate Safety Gear
Naturally, you always want to wear a helmet while biking. If you crash, you need to protect your head as much as possible. You also want to make sure you can be seen. This means wearing light colors or a reflective vest, especially at night. Ensure your bike has reflectors on both the front and back, too, so other drivers can see you.
Biking can be fun, but you should always do so safely. By following these tips, you’ll decrease the risk of an accident so you can enjoy your bike ride.