If you enjoy riding your bike, you don’t want to avoid doing so because of safety concerns. Instead, you need to learn more about what could go wrong to prevent trouble at every turn of the road.
Although you don’t have any control over drivers and other pedestrians, there are still steps you can take to boost your overall level of safety. Here are five tips to keep in mind:
- Watch for opening doors. You spend so much time watching out for moving vehicles that you forget one thing: Someone could open a car door into your path. If this happens and you’re unable to swerve, you could strike the door head on.
- Watch for cars turning in front of you. As a vehicle passes by you, take into consideration that they may immediately attempt to turn back in front of your face to get to where they’re going. If you’re not aware of this, you could ride yourself right into an accident.
- Don’t spook pedestrians. It’s best to pass behind pedestrians, as going in front of them can lead to someone making a quick move and causing an accident. When you travel behind pedestrians, there is no question about who has the right of way.
- Use hand signals and eye contact to communicate with drivers. You always want motor vehicle drivers to know what you’re doing, and the best way of doing so is with hand signals and exaggerated eye contact.
- Use the bike lane, if available. You may think you are safest when riding on a sidewalk, but this is very rarely the case. You should always use the bike lane. If one isn’t available, drive among the cars, as this is where you will be safest.
These are just a handful of the many bicycle safety tips you can follow to avoid trouble on the road.
If you do your best but still find yourself in an accident, call for immediate help. You’ll feel better once police and an ambulance arrive at the scene.
Upon receiving medical treatment and discussing your long-term prognosis with your doctor, revisit the accident. This will help you better understand the cause, your role and what to do next. Learning more about your legal rights will help you decide which steps to take, such as how to hold the negligent driver responsible for his or her actions.