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Ways to protect yourself from distracted drivers

Cyclists face a more significant risk of crash-related injuries than people riding in motor vehicles. With the prevalence of distracted driving today, you need to be more aware than ever when traveling by bicycle.

Not every driver practices safe driving. Take the necessary precautions before you ride to minimize the risk of accidents and injury.

Wear a helmet

Protect yourself from severe brain trauma by wearing a helmet every time you get on your bike.

Make yourself more visible

Invest in brightly colored clothing or fluorescent attire that will catch the eye of motor vehicle drivers. Wear a reflector vest and add reflective strips to your bike for visibility at night.

Minimize your distractions

Avoid using earplugs, earbuds, or headphones so you can stay alert to your surroundings. You will be more likely to notice the signs of a distracted driver in your path.

Ride with traffic

Cycling against traffic decreases the time drivers have to react, causing them to either swerve into oncoming traffic or collide with you. Stay as far on the right as possible to prevent sideswiping.

Be proactive at intersections

Position yourself in a visible location when you approach intersections. Make certain cars are yielding the right of way to you before you cross.

Stay away from parked cars

A distracted driver may open a door into your bike or fail to check the rear-view mirrors before leaving a parking space.

Distracted drivers may be the ones breaking the law, but you are at greater risk of injury if a collision occurs. Keep your eyes and ears open when cycling to avoid dangerous accidents.