Cycling is an inexpensive, healthy and fun way to get around. Cycling responsibly will not only save you from injury or worse, it can also help vehicle drivers to understand that cyclists are not dangerous nuisances and have as much right to the road as they have. Here are five safety tips for cyclists:
1) Obey the Law and Consider other Road Users
Cyclists should always be aware of all traffic regulations and laws in their area or state. Disobeying the law and traffic regulations by cycling through red traffic signals or on the wrong side of the road is dangerous and it gives all cyclists a bad name with motorists. Always cycle in single file, except in places where state laws allow it, and the road is sufficiently broad and straight to allow other road users to both see past you and to overtake safely.
2) Keep to the Right
Cycling on the sidewalk or against the traffic flow is usually illegal and always dangerous. Cycle in the same direction as the traffic is flowing keeping as far to the right as road conditions and safety allow, however not so close to the curb that your wheel could clip it thus throwing you off into the path of vehicles. When you want to overtake another cyclist, to turn left or avoid a hazard, wait until it is safe to so, signal your intention with the correct hand signal. Do not vaguely wave a hand and dart straight into the traffic it does not give other road users enough time.
3) Cycle with the Traffic when it is Safer to do so
Sometimes it is safer to ride in the traffic especially where it makes you more visible to other road users, for example, where the road is not wide enough for both a bicycle and a car to pass together. Join the traffic well before the intersection so that other road users, especially those turning right, can see you properly. Wait directly behind a vehicle so that you can see its indication lights.
4) Protect your Head
No matter the length of your cycle ride, whether it is to the corner store or miles away wear a properly fitting, fastened cycle safety helmet.
5) Give an Eye
Make eye contact with motorists whenever possible. This act helps other motorists see you and realize that you are there and human.