Safety concerns for the urban bicyclist
Opting for a bicycle can be a great, healthy lifestyle choice and it can help you be more environmentally friendly. With all the benefits that come with cycling, there are also some safety concerns that you should be aware of to keep yourself safe.
Cars aren’t always looking for bikes
Unfortunately, drivers aren’t always thinking about bicycles. As a cyclist, it is best that you assume that cars cannot and do not see you. This means that you should always be aware of your surroundings and of the movements of the cars around you.
To ride with the cars or pedestrians?
Sometimes, it can feel safer to ride on the sidewalk rather than with the cars, but it can also be difficult to determine where that is permitted. If you are taking the same route to work every day, you may want to research the roads and learn what is expected of bikes. However, you can often tell whether there is a bike lane on the street or if there are signs prohibiting cycling on the sidewalks. No matter where you ride, always obey the applicable traffic laws, either for cars or pedestrians.
When parked cars open doors
Like how drivers don’t always look for bicyclists, those sitting in parked cars often don’t either. They may park on the street and open a door in the path of a bicycle, subsequentially “dooring” them. Always be aware of the cars that are driving and those parked on the street.
Can they see you?
Visibility is everything when you are a cyclist. Riding during the day, using reflective lights no your bike and wearing bright, reflective clothing is important to make yourself stand out on the road.
Before you set out on your bike ride, remember how to keep yourself safe in an urban setting. Cyclists can be vulnerable in accidents and may suffer serious injuries. While you cannot control what others do on the road, you can take precautions for yourself.