If you're going to be riding a bike on city streets, you've got to be prepared for collisions. That's because bicycles aren't always easy for motorists to see, especially when they're distracted. One of the best ways to stay safe while riding a bike is to assume that all motorists are distracted. That doesn't mean they are. However, if you assume that they are, you'll take additional measures to keep yourself safe. Here are four simple steps you should take to avoid being involved in a bicycle versus car collision.
Stay on the Road
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people ride their bike on the sidewalk because they think they're safer. The truth is, you're safer if you keep your bike on the road, especially when approaching intersections and driveways. Motorists aren't going to be looking for bicycles on the sidewalks, but they should be looking for them on the road. Avoid a bicycle collision by always riding your bike on the road and by staying in bike lanes if they're available.
Ride With the Flow of Traffic
When you're walking on the street, you should always be facing oncoming traffic. However, that's not the case when you're riding your bike. When you're on your bike, you should be riding with the flow of traffic. First, this ensures that all moving vehicles – including bikes – are moving together on each side of the road. Second, riding with the flow of traffic helps you avoid head-on collisions between your bike and a moving vehicle.
Make Yourself Visible
If you're going to be riding your bike on the road, you've got to make sure you're visible to motorists. The first thing you should do is wear bright-colored clothing or reflective gear. The second thing you should do is install blinkers on your bike. This allows you to alert drivers that you're going to be turning. Finally, you need to install a headlight on your bike. This is particularly important when you're riding early in the morning, late at night, or when the weather is bad. The more visible you are, the less likely it is that you'll get hit.
Avoid the Right Side of the Car
It might seem like you'd be safer traveling on the right side of cars, but it's actually not. In fact, you're less visible when you ride up on the right side of a car, especially at intersections or driveways. If you're pulling up on the right side of a car, and they begin to make a right turn, they may not see you. When you come to an intersection, try to stay behind or to the left of vehicles.
Don't take chances with your safety while you're riding your bike. The tips provided here will help you avoid being struck by a car. If you do happen to get struck, be sure to speak to an attorney in your area.