In traffic, cyclists sometimes feel like a hunted prey. Here are some recommended actions to avoid the potential accidents.
Stay away from the curb
Avoiding riding too close to the pavement makes you more visible to the drivers. And also, when some car begins to overtake you, leaving a closer distance than you might be comfortable with, you still would have enough space for dodging to the side.
Let the car behind you go
Is the car behind you annoying by being too close? There is nothing easier than letting it go by pulling over to the bus station, side road, or a pavement. Without much effort, you would cycle safer.
Wear bright colours
Maybe you’re not a real fan of a colourful fashion but in the traffic, there’s nobody asking about your preferred style. The image is nothing to your safety. Lives might be saved just by the tiniest fraction of second drivers spot you earlier because of a better visibility.
Use cycle paths
Check the maps before you set out and try to find as many usable cycle paths as possible in order to avoid heavy traffic. Especially when you go with children, it’s always the better choice.
Don’t mess with the car’s door
This is the nightmare of all cyclists including us. While you’re passing a row of parked cars, one of the car doors flies wide open and renders an unavoidable obstacle in your trajectory. Mostly it’s hard to prevent such a scenario but you may reduce the risk significantly if you just carefully look into the parked cars and put your fingers on the braking levers if you spot a person inside.
Learn the rules
Not only because it’s mandatory for all road users but also because knowing the rules prevents you from hesitation that might result into being involved in an accident or even worse, becoming a party at fault.
In the driver’s shoes
Whether we like it or not, bicycles, in general, represent certain kind of an obstruction for the other road users. That’s why it’s handy to understand drivers’ needs. Same way the drivers who also cycle are much more tolerant of you, you’d be considered a much friendlier cyclist when giving way to the cars sharing a road with you.
We do not want you to learn how to read someone’s mind. On the road, it’s fair enough to respond adequately to the situation just with the slightest advance. You’ll need an empathy and observation skills, but even without these skills, you may invest seconds of your life into considering the next moves of the cars around you. Is the red one in front of you going to slow down at the lights? Then you should do so.
Don’t forget about lighting
Keep in mind that the days are shorter in some periods of the year and so it can happen that contrary to your plans you won’t get home before dusk. That’s why it’s better to always have a tail light attached to your seat post. In cities or in heavy traffic, both front and rear lights come in handy even during the day because of your better visibility.
Don’t go nuts
Sometimes, it’s hard to avoid a conflict, especially for two people claiming the right of way. For a man, easing your temper might be painful, however, not as much as staying in the hospital after the road rage against a muscle car driven by a jerk.