Staying Safe As A Cyclist on Busy Roads
When it comes to riding on busy streets with large SUVs whizzing past you, it is important to know the best skills to keep yourself safe and prevent accidents or injuries. Follow these tips and techniques from Bicycle Magazine to protect yourself while riding on busy roads.
- Look and Listen: An easy skill, yet one that most riders forget to do, is to pay attention at all times. It can be easy to find yourself distracted with nearby scenery and internal thoughts, however, it is crucial to use all of your senses while riding. Often your senses can pick up a nearby dog or an approaching car – and by sensing either of these, you can prevent an accident. When you hear these noises, they should trigger a response to pull over and let the vehicle or problem pass you by.
- Pick Smart Routes: Picking the right route to follow should be a task that incorporates avoiding busy streets, high speed limits and blind corners. Occasionally, this means you may have to take a route that is longer or less scenic. Always remember that keeping yourself safe should be your top priority, even over time. Try using MapMyRide - this app offers riders a popular and safe route, providing trails near your location and it also monitors your mileage and training schedule. In addition, there is also a forum where riders can share ideas and tips with one another.
- Use Hand Signals: Always use hand signals to indicate which direction you intend to steer towards. In addition, make eye contact with nearby drivers to ensure that they see you when at an intersection. This tip alone can save you from one of the most common accidents between cyclists and motorists.
- Look Behind Properly: Looking behind you without swerving is a crucial technique to learn when riding near vehicles. An expert technique that Olympian track racers strategically use, is to move your right hand toward the center of the handlebar near the stem and drop your left hand off the bar as you turn your head to look back while simultaneously keep ing your upper body relaxed. This tricky technique will take a few tries – try practicing in an empty parking lot with lines that you can follow.
By educating yourself with these safety tips and techniques when riding near vehicles, you can help lower the number of injuries and fatalities that occur each year due to motor vehicle and bicycle collisions. If you have any questions regarding a bicycle and vehicle accident, call us today at (602) 553-2220 or learn more in our Phoenix bicycle accident section.