Cycling continues to grow in popularity and there are many reasons for that. It is healthy, safe, fun, economical, and environmentally friendly. Everyone needs to get from point A to point B and cycling is a great way to do that. Regardless of how safe you are when cycling, however, you can still be involved in a crash. Drivers might not notice you or see you coming because of your smaller size, or some drivers might not be paying attention and be on the lookout for cyclists. Regardless, there are some situations that are much more dangerous that you should try to avoid so you can avoid a crash.
Situation #1: Loose Gravel and Potholes
Even if you are riding through the city you will encounter potholes and loose gravel. These are things that can cause problems for larger vehicles, so as the operator of a smaller vehicle you have to be particularly cautious. No, you cannot avoid all potholes but you can ride at a safe speed to prevent crashing if you hit one. Also, proceed cautiously on loose gravel. Have your hand on the brake and be ready to maneuver carefully and slowly to avoid a crash.
Situation #2: Ride Predictably
One cause of crashes is that drivers don’t know the intent of cyclists or where they are headed. As a cyclist, you have the responsibility to adhere to the rules of the road and let drivers know where you are headed and what your intentions are on the road. This means you should use the proper hand signals so drivers will know which direction you are going. Signaling will let others know if you plan to stop or make a turn.
Situation #3: Intersection Danger
Cyclists are much smaller than cars and trucks, so they aren’t as easily noticed. It is much easier for a cyclist to be left unnoticed at an intersection. To avoid problems, make sure you take the time to acknowledge the drivers. Keep your hand on the brake in case you need to take defensive action. Make eye contact with drivers so you know that they see you. Never just zip right through a stop sign or red light and always adhere to the laws of the road.
Situation #4: Don’t Let a Right Turn Run Right Into You
Even if there is a bike lane, never stop on the right-hand side of a vehicle because you will not be seen in their blind spot. A vehicle that is stopped at a traffic light or stop sign and planning to make a right-hand turn will run right into you or run right over you. Instead, always stop behind the vehicle regardless of whether you are in the bike lane or regular traffic lane. You can then proceed up to the intersection when it is your turn to do so. Don’t risk the right-hand crash scenario.
Situation #5: Don’t Get Floored by a Door
One of the main reasons cyclists crash are they are hit by car doors being opened. If you are going through an area where cars park along the street, proceed with caution. Get far enough over in the lane, which is about four feet, so an opening door won’t hit you and knock you off your bike. Always listen for the clicking noise made by door locks before the door opens. And, if you see cars in the turn lane with caution flashers on odds are people are getting in and out of the car so doors will be opening.
Staying Safe and Other Cycling Tips
At any time when you are riding, you should make sure you are visible. This means wearing fluorescent clothing during the day and making sure you have a taillight, headlight, and reflectors when out after dark. Familiarize yourself with the cycling laws where you plan to ride and make sure you know the areas where you will be riding. When possible, ride with a buddy because two cyclists together are much easier to see than a single cyclist making his way from one location to another. By taking the right precautions to protect yourself, you can enjoy many more years of cycling.
This article was created by Personal Injury Help, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice or opinion, and is intended for informational use only. To find out more about them, you can go to www.personalinjury-law.com or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org