When the spring weather finally arrives, it goes without saying that more and more people will begin to venture outdoors. For many, this means one thing: jumping on their bicycles and riding as often as possible.
If you're the type of person who enjoys commuting to and from work on your bicycle, it's important to understand what you need to do from a safety perspective.
Here are a variety of tips that can give you peace of mind every time you hit the pavement:
- Make eye contact with drivers and use hand signals. You're going to find yourself riding your bicycle in close proximity to motor vehicles. There is no way around this. You must get used to making eye contact and using hand signals, all with the idea of giving drivers clear intentions of what you're doing.
- Watch for doors. You don't want to pay so much attention to moving vehicles that you forget about the ones that are parked. If someone swings a door into your path, you could soon find yourself on the pavement.
- Don't startle pedestrians. Just the same as motor vehicles, you'll find yourself riding around pedestrians as well. You don't want to startle them, as this could cause an accident. The best way to avoid this is to always cross behind pedestrians (when possible).
- Use the bicycle lane when available. You may not always have access to a bicycle lane, but when you do this is where you should ride. It's much safer than the sidewalk. If there is no bicycle lane, put yourself in the middle of traffic. This is where you will be safest.
There are many benefits of commuting to work on your bicycle, including the ability to save time and money (all the while getting plenty of exercise). Just make sure you know what you should be doing from a safety perspective.
If you're ever part of a bicycle accident, you should assume that you've suffered some type of injury. Call 911, wait for help, and follow the guidance of your medical team. Also, learn more about your legal rights, as the driver who caused the crash (if this is the case) may be held responsible for his or her actions.