Bicycle riding offers many benefits to an individual’s overall health. Though, riding through the streets comes with unique risks. Every year, there are lots of riders on the road who face an increasing number of distractions.
When riding through the streets, think about the vehicles cruising down the road and pedestrians crossing the streets. Remember that if you get involved in an accident with a vehicle, you are likely to sustain the worst injuries. Below are tips on how to avoid road accidents.
Avoid arterial roads if possible
Major accidents involving cyclists occur on roads that move in a high traffic volume, especially through commercial areas. So, whenever possible, keep off the arterial roads that pass through busy commercial places. Some of these roads are multi-lane and usually have relatively high-speed limits above 45 mph.
And you know well that the higher the speed of the vehicles on the roads, the higher the chances of serious injury in case of a collision. Even though arterial roads often have bike lanes, there is still the potential danger of increased contact between you and the other vehicles because these roads are lined with commercial centers. It’s always advisable to have cycle insurance to cover medical payments in case you get injured on a ride.
Never assume that the driver sees you
Research shows that a relatively higher number of drivers don’t look for cyclists before turning right. When cycling, you need to divide your attention in several directions. You need to be aware of the road signs and the traffic signals from all the vehicles behind you. Without proper care, you will likely get involved in an accident.
Many times, riders think that the driver will slow down for them, but that doesn’t happen. This is why you need to slow down without thinking about whether the driver in the next lane will. You need to be very careful with drivers at intersections in places like the urban environment.
Wear cycling gear and equipment that make you more visible
Your cycling gear is vital in ensuring you can be seen clearly when driving on busy roads. If you are wondering what to wear to cycle, you can get yourself a helmet, ankle gear, and brightly colored jerseys. A fluorescent yellow helmet and jersey equipment can be great, but you also need high visibility on the ankles and legs. When the drivers on the road see the motion of the turning pedals, this will reduce the chances of the driver getting too close.
Lights are also essential components of visibility. When cycling at night, ensure that you use bright white flashing on the front of the bike and a red flashing at the back. Red flashing lights are also highly recommended during daytime riding as they increase the odds of being seen by drivers.
Use hand signals and mirror
When cycling, you need to make sure that you signal every move that you are about to make. It’s one of the best riding practices when riding in groups, and you can also incorporate it when riding alone on busy roads. Be very demonstrative while driving and ensure you point to where you are heading to let the other drivers on the road know.
When making any turn, ensure that you use your mirror effectively. Though getting hit from the back is less likely, it’s vital to know who is behind you. The bicycle mirror is of great help when a vehicle passes you suddenly on the left when there is little space in between.
Choose the safest lane position
Do not stay too close to the road’s edge when cycling on the highway. Even though you have the freedom to decide about the best place on the road, you have to choose the safest lane. The safest lane is the one that has great visibility under the current conditions.
Always ensure that you are close to the center of the lane. When you are at the center of the lane, that is a clear indication that you do not need to go around; therefore, no driver will dangerously dare squeeze. Moving closer to the center of the lane also ensures that the other drivers see you clearly and will slow down until there is an alternative way to overtake you.
The above tips will help you avoid bicycle accidents while cycling on busy roads. Each tip discussed is equally important, and you should ensure that you adhere to it keenly. If you do, you will protect yourself from getting involved in an accident.
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