When riding your bicycle on busy city streets, it is important to be safe.
Unfortunately, some cyclists believe they are practicing safe cycling habits when they are actually putting themselves at risk.
1. Riding on the sidewalk
Cycling on the sidewalk may seem safer, but it is illegal in many places, including Los Angeles, and it can be dangerous. Sidewalks contain obstacles like signs, parking meters and pedestrians that can distract you from your ride and make it difficult for motorists to see you when crossing driveways and intersections.
2. Riding against traffic
Pedestrians should normally walk on the left side of the road facing oncoming traffic. This is not the case for cyclists. Cycling against traffic is both illegal and dangerous. If a motorist hits you head-on, the impact will be much greater than if the car hit you from behind while traveling in the same direction. Riding with the flow of traffic allows you to see road signs and signals and makes you more visible to drivers.
3. Wearing the wrong helmet
When participating in any sport, including cycling, it is important to wear safety gear designed for the activity. If you own a motorcycle, it might seem like a good idea to wear your motorcycle helmet when riding your bicycle. Although a heavier helmet might make you feel safer, motorcycle helmets reduce your hearing and peripheral vision. The safest choice is a proper bicycle helmet.
Whether cycling is a lifelong passion, a casual pastime or an eco-friendly way to get to work, it is important to do it safely and avoid dangerous habits.