If you are a cyclist, you understand the importance of visibility. Most accidents occur because drivers say that they don’t see the cyclist. It does take a while for the eyes to relay the message to the brain, so you need to make sure you stand out, so they will do a double take and realize that someone is there. Maintaining your visibility is imperative to your safety as a cyclist.
Here are some tips for staying visible when cycling alongside traffic.
Dress To Stand Out
Dressing to be noticed could be the main way to be noticed. Wear fluorescent gear, so you don’t blend in with your surroundings. Wear jerseys, jackets or shirts that are lime green, neon yellow, bright orange, or hot pink. Add some bright stickers and reflectors to your helmet as well.
Ride With Traffic
Obey traffic laws and ride with traffic. A bicycle is considered a vehicle, so it should go with the flow. Riding against traffic and toward cars isn’t safe.
Follow Traffic Laws
You should obey traffic regulations. This means that you should ride in a predictable manner, so drivers can expect where you are going. Signal properly and stop at stop signs and intersections. Don’t swerve between cars or suddenly change lanes without signaling.
Use Caution At Intersections
More crashes occur at intersections. You need to make sure you are noticed at intersections. Take the time to make eye contact with the drivers. Always stop at intersections, and don’t just zip on through.
Watch Where You Are Riding
Always watch where you are riding. You should be placed in the lane where drivers will have to move into the other lane to go around you. If you are riding on the line, they will try to pass in the same lane where you are riding, and they might get too close, sideswiping you.
Ride On The Sidewalk
If it is permitted where you are riding, take your bike onto the sidewalk and ride there. That way, you are farther away from the cars and you are less likely to be struck by a passing vehicle. If there is a bike lane, ride there. You want ample room to get out of the way of a car if it is necessary.
Proper Lighting And Reflectors
If you are out after dusk or before dawn, make sure you are visible. You are required to have a white headlight visible for several hundred feet and a red taillight that is visible for a considerable distance as well. Make sure you have reflectors on your bike, such as on the spokes, the pedals, and the fenders. Wear reflective tape on your chest, legs, shoes, and back. Reflective bands on the ankles and wrists are also helpful.
Always be alert and ride with the assumption that drivers aren’t going to notice you. You should be ready to get out of the way of a vehicle at a moment’s notice.
Don’t Hang Out On The Right
Even if there is a bike lane, never stop on the right-hand side of a vehicle. As an example, if you pull up on the right side of a bus at an intersection and you are stopped waiting for the light, the driver might turn right and never see you there. Instead, wait behind the vehicle in view of the mirror.
This article was created Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally!