Whether a cyclist uses a bike path or shares the road with other vehicles, an accident can easily occur due to a blind spot. Even with the help of rearview mirrors and side mirrors, certain areas conceal bikers even if they feel like they are visible.
We have all seen the warnings on oversized trucks notifying drivers that blind spots may be an issue. This is especially true for cyclists. A collision with a truck could cause severe injury or death. Mirrors do not guarantee that the driver will see you in time, you could still be completely hidden from view.
Automobiles also have blind spots. The design of the car or the seat itself, including the headrest, may conceal cyclists on the road. Most drivers see pedestrians after it’s too late, and an accident can be costly for both parties, especially the cyclist. The shape of the vehicle, the size of the windows, and the position of the mirrors can all create blind spots. When you combine blind spots with a driver who is not paying close attention, you have a dangerous, if not deadly combination.
Cars and trucks tend to be easier to see and maneuver around safely. A bicycle is less common on the road, and smaller vehicles are just harder to see. Drivers often look for other vehicles instead of cyclists. An accident with a larger vehicle can total a bike and seriously injure a rider with substantially less damage to the car or truck.
How can a cyclist avoid blind spots?
You cannot prevent blind spots or protect yourself from drivers who cannot see you. The most effective way to avoid an accident is riding your bicycle defensively. Following the laws of the road, using bright lights and reflective gear, as well as having a horn or even a flashing light can help you become more visible to other drivers. Every cyclist is responsible for their safety and drawing more attention to yourself is key.
Do your best to make eye contact with the driver. If you are a biker, use the right lane. Try to position yourself as far-right as possible, so you are directly beside them at a traffic light or stop sign,then make eye contact. This simple step helps drivers notice that a biker is present, and they tend to be more cautious.
Just because you can see them, doesn’t mean they can see you. Always ride in the bike path or the right lane. Never try to use multiple lanes or pass a car on the right. This risky maneuver could cause an accident.
Cyclists can safely share the road with other vehicles, but always assume that other drivers cannot see you. As the smaller vehicle, you could easily total your bike or get severely injured in an accident with a car or truck. When drivers can see you, accidents are avoided. Keep your distance and be aware of blind spots while riding your bike.With these safety tips in mind, you’ll be riding safely in no time.