Bicycling is a great way to get cardiovascular exercise. It puts less stress on your joints than running, and it is fun. However, if you do not know how to ride in high-traffic areas safely, you may put yourself at risk without even knowing it.
Bicycle safety takes more than wearing a helmet. Though safety equipment like an adjustable bicycle horn is essential, safe riding habits are the best way to prevent injury.
Motorist Pulls Out From the Right
The most common bicycle accidents occur when cars pull out from the right. Either the cyclist gets hit by the vehicle from the right, or the unprepared rider runs into the car when it suddenly pulls out. To avoid this situation, there are several things you should do. First, you should try to make eye contact with the driver. If you do not make eye contact, try waving. If the driver does not see you, slow down enough to stop completely if you must. One last thing you can try to get the driver’s attention is to drive further to the left. However, only resort to this tactic if you are not in a high-traffic area.
Motorist Turns Right
Another common way to get hit is when a car passes you and turns right. To avoid this scenario, do not ride on the sidewalk. Despite how awkward it might feel, your safest path is on the road. As a cyclist, you have the right to take up a spot on the road. If the city you ride in has bike lanes, make sure you know any cars in your vicinity. When you approach an intersection, look at your handlebar mirror and check if a vehicle is behind you.
The most dangerous scenarios for bikers are at intersections. The best way to avoid an accident is to keep your head on a swivel and try to make your presence known to motorists.