Staying Safe: Defensive BicyclingStaying Safe:  Defensive Bicycling

Staying Safe: Defensive Bicycling

Knowing and following the rules of the road is not always enough to keep you from being involved in a crash. There will always be drivers who do not know, do not understand, or do not follow the rules. Fortunately, knowing what other drivers do wrong, and watching for their mistakes, can help you reduce your chances of being in a crash. Check out these tips for safely avoiding some of the most common problems.

SafetySituation 1:

Motorist turns left in front of bicyclist going straight

What to do: Watch cars at intersections carefully. Be visible, and make eye contact with drivers. Ride farther out in the lane as you approach intersections so cars can see you. Be prepared to stop or make an emergency turn if necessary.

 

SafetySituation 2:

Motorist makes a right turn in front of bicyclist

What to do: Be alert for drivers speeding up then slowing down as they pass you. Do not pass cars on the right near intersections -- you will be in the driver's blind spot. Do not rely on other drivers' turn signals; wait to see that they are not going to turn.       

 

SafetySituation 3:

Motorist drives out from a driveway, alley, parking space, or stop sign

What to do: Making sure you are in a proper lane position, careful scanning, and an all-around conspicuous appearance will help you avoid these situations. If you ride on sidewalks, be extra alert when crossing driveways and intersections. Most drivers do not check for bicyclists on sidewalks.