There’s a big difference between cycling in heavy traffic and cycling on a backroad where you won’t see a vehicle for miles. When you find yourself cycling in close proximity to vehicular traffic, here are some of the tips you can follow to protect yourself:
- Use the bicycle lane: When available, you should always try to ride in a designated bicycle lane. This allows you to keep your distance from motor vehicles, which instantly enhances your safety
- Use hand signals: Your job is to give drivers as much information as you can about your intentions. And one of the best ways of doing so is through the use of hand signals. Also, when possible, make eye contact with drivers.
- Follow the rules of the road: It’s easy to forget that you should also be following the rules of the road, such as stopping at red lights and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Watch for opening doors: After someone parks their vehicle on the side of the road, they’re likely to get out at some point. Should they open their door into your lane of travel, you could strike it head-on.
These are the types of steps you can take to protect yourself when cycling in heavy traffic. Unfortunately, even if you do these things, a driver could make a mistake that causes a serious accident.
If you’re injured in a car-bicycle crash, move to safety (if you can), call for help and receive medical treatment. After you take these steps and begin to recover, you can then turn your attention to your legal rights.