If your bike rides take you out of your neighborhood and onto busy streets (and maybe even highways), it’s wise to keep in mind that drivers may not be as conscientious about sharing the road with you as they are in areas with clearly marked bike lanes.
While drivers have an obligation to be aware of bicyclists and take precautions when driving near them, you can’t depend on all of them to do that. A crash involving a bicyclist and a car or larger vehicle generally turns out far worse for the bicyclist than anyone in the vehicle.
You can significantly improve your odds of avoiding an accident by making sure that you’re visible. That means wearing bright or even reflective clothing and helmet and having reflective tape on your bike. Having a horn or whistle on your bike is also a good idea.
Let’s look at some other safety tips for biking on busy streets:
- Follow the rules of the road. Ride in the same direction as traffic, stop at all red lights and stop signs and signal your moves before you make them.
- Stay at least 4 feet behind a vehicle in front of you, so you can brake if you need to. Always have your hands near or on the brake levers.
- On a busy street, keep a straight course. Don’t swerve around cars (even parked ones).
- If you’re riding with others, ride in single file.
- Stay out of drivers’ blind spots. Make eye contact before you make any moves around them to be sure they can see you.
- If a line of cars is accumulating behind you (five or more), pull over. You don’t want to aggravate drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver while biking, you may be dealing with large medical bills, physical therapy expenses, lost wages and more. An experienced attorney can work to make sure that you get the compensation you need to deal with these things as well as expenses you may not anticipate.