When you’re going to be riding a bike on busy streets, it’s important to take steps to keep yourself safe. Even though you do have the right to ride without being at risk of a crash, other drivers simply may not pay attention to you or give you the right-of-way you deserve in certain circumstances.
Since you can’t rely on others to do what’s right, it’s smart to take action to avoid a crash yourself. Here are three tips that will help.
- Get to know the rules of the road for cyclists
One of the first things you should do is get to know the rules of the road for cyclists in your area. Understand that wearing a helmet may not be required for someone over 18, but having one on could help prevent serious head injuries if you’re hit. Get to know the other cycling traffic laws, too, so you don’t make driving errors yourself.
- Don’t assume drivers are going to stop
The next thing to remember is that you shouldn’t assume that others are going to follow the traffic laws. Many people blow through stop signs or run red lights. Some will ride too close to you or cut you off in traffic. Don’t ever assume that a driver is going to stop. Slow down and make sure they’re stopping before you cross in front of them.
- Make noise
Finally, learn to make noise. If you aren’t sure if another person on the road has seen you, then you should start making noise to let them know you’re present. Use a bell or horn to make noise. You can also wave at the driver or wear reflective gear that is more likely to catch the driver’s attention to stay safer.
These are three things you can do to stay safer as a cyclist. It’s your job, as well as others on the road, to obey the traffic laws to stay safe. If you’re involved in a collision, remember that you do have a right to hold an at-fault driver responsible for their negligence or recklessness.