Biking near traffic on city streets is challenging, even in bike-friendly cities. It is key that you take the necessary steps to avoid bicycle accidents even before you get on the road.
1. Inspect your bike before you ride.
Make sure to check your brake calipers and brake pads, tire pressures, and give your frame a quick visual inspection for any cracks, fractures, or significant dents that could be hiding. Lastly, double-check the tension on the quick release levers on your wheels (if applicable).
2. Ride defensively.
It is important to ride as if nearby cars cannot see you. Try to predict the next move of automobiles near you. Riding defensively will help you be more aware of the flow of traffic: sudden change of lanes, fast stops, or even accidents will be effectively predicted with defensive riding.
3. Follow all traffic laws.
Bicycles on the road are subject to the same traffic laws as automobiles. Just a few examples are: signal turns with your arms, stop at all stop signs and stop lights, and ride within speed limits.
4. Ride predictably.
Many drivers are uncomfortable driving near cyclists. Riding predictably helps them anticipate your next move. Don’t make any sudden route changes or stops even if you are in the bike lane.
5. Be seen.
Wear bright-colored and reflective clothing for the best chance of being seen by an automobile. If you are riding on a low-speed residential road without a bike lane, while it may seem counterintuitive, riding closer to the center of the lane will help you be seen by automobiles behind you. This requires them to slow down and find a safe stretch of road to pass. Riding far on the edge of the road puts you in the driver’s periphery vision and can make you invisible to distracted drivers.
Although these five tips will significantly reduce the likelihood of bicycle accidents, they still happen. Contact us to ensure that you get full compensation.