Bicyclists and drivers often have to share the road, which can be dangerous for both parties involved. However, keeping some key rules in mind can help ensure the safety of cyclists sharing the roadways.
Follow the rules of the road
Roadsigns and signals are not only for cars; cyclists must follow all posted rules as well. Cyclists who do not follow road rules are unpredictable and can cause accidents or dangerous situations to arise on the road.
Commonly forgotten or ignored rules by cyclists include traveling in the same direction as traffic, wearing a helmet, and monitoring speed limits.
Be predictable for other drivers
Following in the same vein, as a cyclist, you want to make sure your actions are predictable. This could involve using hand signals to let drivers know what your intentions are when changing lanes, ensuring you are not going straight in a right turn only lane, or not changing speed too quickly. Predictability is important in maintaining safety on the road.
Never assume you are safe on the road
Even if you are driving in a bike-safe community, road conditions are unpredictable and it is never safe to assume that you are in a safe environment. It can be easy to let your guard down and forgo safety rules, but it is essential always to stay aware of your surroundings. Obstacles, unsafe road conditions, or drivers not expecting a cyclist can come from anywhere and can prove dangerous even in a bike-safe environment.
Be an ambassador for safe cycling for everyone
The best way to improve cycling conditions on the road for everyone is to be an advocate for safe cycling. Setting a positive example can encourage other cyclists to travel safely. Being a safe cycler can also send the message to drivers that cyclists are not a burden and should be valued on the road. Ultimately this creates a safer atmosphere for all travelers involved.
With these key rules in mind, the streets can be safer for cyclists and motorists alike. Remember that no accident happens in isolation or is only caused by one person. It is important for everyone involved to be vigilant and travel as safely as possible along the roads.