Cycling Safety Tips

Bicyclists are obliged to take special care when riding in traffic. There are a few common situations that can be dangerous if you do not know the proper cycling safety protocol. First and most important, always obey all the traffic laws as if you were behind the wheel of a car. In other words, bicyclists are required to stop at red lights, yield to oncoming traffic when making a left, and to signal all turns. There are a number of situations, however, that can be dangerous even when you are following the traffic rules. For instance, cars pulling out of side streets or driveways to your right may be unable to see you in a bike lane. Always slow down when you notice a car getting ready to pull out into traffic ahead of you, and use a headlight whenever visibility is diminished. Another common danger presents itself when you are stopped at a red light. If you pull alongside a driver who does not see you, he or she may enter your path by making a right turn at the light. To avoid this problem, either stay behind the cars stopped at the light, or make sure all of the drivers behind you can see you clearly. In general, it is a bad idea to pass a car on the right, as drivers tend to be more careless about making right turns and are therefore less likely to check for cyclists before lurching to the right. The feature that all of these accidents have in common is that they are caused by the cyclist not being seen. For this reason, you should try to ride in bright colors and with reflective mirrors on your bike. At night, or in conditions of diminished visibility, use both a headlight and a taillight.


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