Anyone who has ever driven a car will tell you, the hardest part about driving is watching out for reckless drivers. It is the driver who waits until the last minute to stop at a red light or the person who talks on their cell phone and crosses into another lane that causes accidents on the road.
When you are riding a bicycle, it is even harder to know what an automobile driver will do. Are they watching out for bikers or are they speeding up and swerving around people to avoid traffic? Below,we will give you some tips to avoid traffic accidents while riding your bike.
- Every time you take your bicycle out, check for any damage. Make sure the tires are inflated, the lights are working, the reflectors are in place, and the brakes are in good condition.
- Wear reflective clothing. There are plenty of options at a bike store or online. If it is too warm for a jacket, choose a vest or shirt that is made from a reflective material and will be seen in headlights.
- Do not use heavily congested streets until you have some experience riding a bike with motorists. Start slowly. Use side streets. Take your bike on busy roadways early in the morning or on the weekends when there is less congestion.
- Obey all traffic laws. However, if someone refuses to yield when you have the right of way, let them go. It is not worth having an accident over.
- Give your hand signals far in advance to ensure drivers know what you are doing before you turn or stop. Invest in blinkers that flash above the hand grips or a helmet that has turn signals and a brake light.
- Ride in the proper lane. If there is a bike lane, use it.If there is no bike lane, use the right lane and stay as far to the right as possible. If the lane is too narrow (less than 14’) then take the center of the lane. But it is safer to stay to the far right. Only change lanes to the left if you are going to turn left. Signal and watch out for cars.
- Always ride with the flow of traffic. Never ride facing other vehicles.
- Always keep your lights on. In Florida, you can use flashing lights. These flashing lights draw attention to you. An extra-large back light (stop light) is legal and may help motorists see you in the dark.
- Never try to access your water bottle and drink or snack while riding. Pull off the road for that. Having water with you is vital, but you should pay attention to the road and vehicles.
The truth is, many drivers are distracted while behind the wheel. They are using their cell phone, eating, listening to music, and sometimes even putting on makeup on their way to work. Take your time and if you must move over to let a dangerous driver pass, do it. It is better to be safe than getting injured.