Cycling can be very fun and safe, but you must understand that you do face some risks whenever you ride around cars. In an accident, the cyclist faces vastly greater danger than the driver of the car, even at very low speeds. Any accident can be deadly or can lead to life-altering injuries.
With that in mind, here are some safety tips that can help you avoid accidents and their ramifications:
- Always ride with a bike helmet. Even if you're only going for a short ride, put the helmet on. It is your best defense if you do get hit.
- Understand when traffic levels are highest, such as at rush hour. If possible, avoid those times.
- Make it a point to ensure that drivers do see you. This may mean wearing bright clothes during the day. It can also mean wearing reflective clothes at night, mounting lights on your bike or wearing an LED vest.
- Stay aware. Pay attention to the road around you. Do not listen to music. Try to anticipate the mistakes drivers may make, such as turning in front of you because they don't see you, before they make them.
- Whenever you turn, use the proper hand signals. Let drivers know what you're doing. The hand signals have the added benefit of drawing attention to you if the drivers did not see you in the first place.
These tips can help, but nothing guarantees your safety on a bike. Drivers still make mistakes and cause accidents. When facing serious injuries and high medical bills, you need to know what rights you have.