Riding a bicycle is a preferred method of transportation for some people, and even if you are only riding casually or for pleasure, there may be a time when it is necessary to ride on a roadway with other vehicles. Knowing the safety rules to follow can help keep you alive and avoid a nasty bicycle accident that could cause serious injuries.
Dangers of riding against traffic
There’s a common misconception that riding your bike against traffic is the safest way to ride. Though pedestrian safety guidelines recommend walking against traffic if there are no sidewalks, riding a bicycle against traffic can be dangerous as it presents multiple hazards. It increases the speed of potential collisions, the possibility of severe injuries, and reduces the reaction time available. Here’s a good video showing all the reasons that riding against traffic is something you should avoid.
Should you ride in the middle of the lane?
Riding on the street may be the only option if there are no sidewalks, bike paths, or if riding on a sidewalk is against local laws. In many ways, riding on the street can be much safer than riding on a sidewalk, it you do it correctly. Choose the type of road where you feel comfortable.
Some cyclists like streets with little traffic, while more experienced riders may prefer busier streets with more traffic. Because bicyclists are considered vehicles and must abide by all motor vehicle laws, they are allowed on streets, with the exception of interstates or where bicycles are banned. The following video shows when it may be best to take the entire lane as opposed to riding on the right side of the lane.
Riding safely through intersections
If you’re riding on a busy street, you should always stay in the lane to the far right, and don’t get too far to the right or hug the curb. Doing so makes it easy for a car to turn right in front of you, increasing the chance of a collision. A cyclist should claim the entire lane, and turn right when needed. If a rider needs to turn left, they should use hand signals to indicate their desire to turn, and move over into the left turn lane. This video covers all the details of being safe when navigation through busy intersections.
These are some of the most dangerous situations a bicyclist will encounter while riding with traffic. You can see these and other bicycle safety videos on the Alert Today Florida website. If you are ever injured in a bicycle accident that is caused by someone else’s carelessness, Zervos & Calta, PLLC can help you get justice for your injuries and damages.