Like many, you may realize that commuting by bicycle is one of the better ways to save both time and money. Not to mention the fact that this can provide you with a high level of exercise as well doing your piece to eliminate auto emissions that pollute the air, should driving be your primary alternative.
One of the chief concerns of bicycle commuters is the risk of an accident with a motor vehicle.
Although there is no way to completely eliminate this risk, there are some steps you can take to improve your safety:
- Travel in a bicycle lane when available. Depending on where you’re riding, there may be a dedicated lane. This is much safer than riding on the sidewalk or in the flow of traffic.
- Watch for opening doors. It goes without saying that you’re keeping a close eye on the many moving motor vehicles in close proximity to your bicycle. However, you should also watch for those that are parked. An opening door can cause an accident that results in serious injury.
- Keep an eye out for pedestrians. In crowded cities, for example, you’ll find yourself driving closely to both cars and pedestrians. To avoid spooking a pedestrian, pass behind him or her when possible.
- Make eye contact when you can. When you make eye contact with a driver, it shows you that the person knows you’re there.
- Use hand signals. You should get into the habit of using hand signals when making turns. This goes a long way in helping drivers understand what you’re doing, thus lessening the risk of an accident.
The nice thing about these tips is that you can implement them in no time at all. Even better, as you ride more often, you’ll come across other things you can do to improve your safety.
In the event of any type of bicycle accident, such as one with a motor vehicle, stay where you are, call 911 if you’re able to, and wait for help to arrive. There’s a chance you’re dealing with a serious injury, so you don’t want to move from the scene.
After you receive treatment, you should learn more about the cause of the bicycle accident, who was at fault, and the steps you can take from a legal perspective.