“The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine.” – John HowardThough the number of people embracing the benefits of cycling has increased, many automobile drivers have been slow to adjust. All too often this has resulted in serious collisions. As more and more horrific accidents involving bicyclists and drivers have made headlines, traffic laws have continued to adjust and increase all too slowly. Though cyclists are protected on the road, legally, in many situations, it’s important to understand that a cyclist is always in a vulnerable position when involved in a collision between a car and his or her bicycle.
Keep Safe While Cycling:
- Responsibility As a cyclist, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with all applicable traffic laws and cycling rules.
- Say No to Sidewalks It is generally unsafe to ride on a sidewalk or towards oncoming traffic. Always ride in the direction of traffic, staying as far to the right as possible.
- Jump On In If you are traveling at the same speed as automobile traffic, consider whether it is safe to jump in and ride with traffic; often this will make you more visible to motorists.
- Use Your Head Always wear a helmet.
- Seeing Eye-to-Eye Make eye contact with drivers whenever possible.
- Playing Defense Stay aware of your surroundings. Know what is behind you and watch out for what is in front of you.
- You Got It? Flaunt It! Make your presence felt. Wear bright color clothing.
- Helping Hands Be prepared for emergencies. Have at least one hand on your handlebars, no matter what.
- Brake Away Keep your brakes in top-notch condition.