Coexisting with Cars – Safety Tips for Bicylcists

this post answers the following questions
1. What are the things you should check before riding a bike?
2. Do the bicyclists also have to follow the traffic laws?
3. Why is wearing a helmet important while riding a bike?
4. Is being predictable also important while riding a bike?
5. How making eye contact will help you avoid deadly mistake while riding a bike?

As more people want to get in shape AND save the environment, bicycling is becoming more and more popular and mainstream. There are more bicyclists on the roads now than in many, many years. If you’re one of them, you know that staying safe during your ride is your main priority. Lots of cars don’t understand the rights of bicyclists, and the road can be a dangerous place. The only thing you can do is to protect yourself, so here are some of the most important safety tips for bicyclists.

Nissan auto

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/218125844/

Inspect Your Bike

Before you ride – every time – check your bike to make sure it’s in good condition. Check out your chain and gears, and test your brakes. Make sure a quick release lever is tight, and inspect your tires to make sure they’re properly inflated. You have enough to worry about on the road, and your ride shouldn’t be one of them. A bike that’s in good working order will keep you safe.

Follow the Traffic Laws

Bicyclists have the same traffic laws as cars, and so you’re expected to know and obey all the rules, just as if you’re driving a car. That’s means you need to stop at red lights and stop signs, signal before turning, stay in the proper lane, and do everything else a regular driver should. Obeying the traffic laws is one of the most important thing to do, because it helps driver anticipate your actions, and going with the flow of traffic is always safer than against it.

Wear a Helmet

It’s not the law in every state, but wearing a helmet is incredibly important. It’s the single most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe. In the event of a crash, it ups your chances of survival dramatically.

Be Predictable

Don’t make sudden movements or changes in direction – drivers should be able to predict your movements. As mentioned above, following the rules of the road and signaling your turns will help other drivers anticipate your actions. Doing something unpredictable can put you and other drivers at risk. Catching a car off-guard can easily lead to an accident.

Make Eye Contact

At intersections and whenever your path will cross with a driver’s, make eye contact if possible. Making eye contact will let you confirm that a driver has seen you, and it will eliminate any confusion over who is going to do what. If you don’t make eye contact with a vehicle, don’t assume that they’ve seen you. Drivers don’t always know who has the right of way when it comes to cars and bikes, and making eye contact will help you avoid deadly mistakes.

Have a Good Attitude

As a bicyclist, you’re going to run into many instances where a driver did something he shouldn’t have or possibly put you at risk. Always avoid the temptation to yell at or argue with drivers, because this could be putting you in greater danger. Stay positive and focus on what’s important – your conduct and safety – not the mistakes or offenses of other drivers you can’t control.

Heather Hopkins is a mechanical engineer with Nissan auto who has had her fair share on near-misses when it comes to cyclists. She loves to blog and she often writes about everything from car safety to fuel efficiency.

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