As the weather gets better and more people head out to participate in long bike rides, it’s more important than ever to talk about the ways you can stay safe when cycling. Though San Jose is usually perfect for cycling all year, you may find that tourists make it harder to stay safe as spring builds up into tourist season.

Cycling doesn’t have to be dangerous, but it does require that you are always paying attention to what’s going on around you. You can’t take for granted the idea that drivers will always do what’s safest. The reality is that people are human; they make mistakes, and you could be harmed because of those errors.

What are a few ways to be as safe as possible when cycling?

There are a few good ideas including:

  • Riding on designated cycling paths
  • Using bike lanes that have barriers between traffic and the lane
  • Wearing a helmet
  • Using reflective attire to help you stand out to motorists
  • Using a light if you’re going to be riding at night, dawn or dusk
  • Installing a bell or horn on your bike, so you can alert drivers to your presence
  • Riding in pairs or with a group, so you’re more visible

If a crash does happen between a cyclist and motorist, it’s going to be the cyclist who faces more significant injuries. That’s why, though it is a driver’s responsibility to be safe, you need to be the one to protect yourself. You always have the right to pull off the road or to stop and allow someone to pass if they’re driving dangerously. Remember, if you are hit, you may be able to hold that driver liable for your injuries.