Bicycling can be an enjoyable and eco-friendly mode of transportation, but it comes with its own set of safety challenges. When cycling on crowded roads, it can become even harder to stay safe amid so many other vehicles.
While stuck in traffic, many drivers do not pay as much attention to what is going on around them. To ensure your safety while riding your bike in the midst of cars and trucks, there are some guidelines you should follow.
Wear protective gear
Before setting out on your bike, ensure you are well-equipped with protective gear. Always wear a properly fitted helmet to safeguard your head in the event of an accident. Additionally, invest in reflective clothing and accessories to heighten your visibility, especially during periods of low light.
Observe traffic regulations
Much like motorists, cyclists must adhere to traffic laws. Ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic and heed all traffic signals and signage. Employ hand signals to communicate your intentions for turns and stops, enabling other road users to anticipate your movements.
Choose your route beforehand
Before embarking on your journey, carefully plan your route to circumvent congested streets and heavy traffic whenever possible. Seek out designated bike lanes or bike paths, as they provide a safer environment for cycling.
Choose bright-colored attire and incorporate reflective tape on your bike and gear. When approaching intersections, establish eye contact with drivers to confirm that they are aware of your presence.
Concentrate solely on the road ahead and minimize distractions. Refrain from using your mobile phone or wearing headphones while cycling, as these distractions can impede your ability to react to changing traffic conditions.
Exercise caution at intersections
In 2021, 961 bicyclists died in crashes involving a car, and many of these bicycle accidents happened in an intersection, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Always be vigilant when approaching intersections, and never assume that a driver has seen you. Make sure it is safe to cross before proceeding, even if you have the right of way.
Even though you may try to stay safe while riding your bike in traffic, others around you may not be as diligent. If you got into an accident while riding your bike, take steps to protect your rights to fair and proper compensation.