Cycling can be nerve-wracking because it comes with the potential of being hit by a car. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take which will reduce the chances of you being hit by a car. Wearing a helmet will keep you safe, but does not actually prevent any accidents.
Get A Headlight
If you are going to be cycling at night or when lighting conditions are not ideal, you need to get a headlight. This will alert vehicles to your presence and ensure that they are able to see you in the low lighting. It is also required by law in all states because it is a primary safety device.
When you are riding in the daytime, you should also have your light on. Ideally, you will want to get a flashing white light which is more visible to car drivers. A headlamp mounted to your helmet is also a good idea because when you look at the car, you will know that they have seen your light.
Ride In The Center Of The Lane
Most cyclists will ride close to the curb because this makes it easier for vehicles to overtake them. However, this can also cause problems when you are approaching an intersection. There is also a chance that the drivers behind you could overlook you as they focus on the middle of the road.
Riding closer to the center of the road is recommended for a number of reasons. Drivers behind you will see you and you will also be more visible at an intersection. If the driver at an intersection fails to stop or continues pulling out, you will also have more room to maneuver. Being further to the left will allow you to pull further left without any worries that you are still going to hit the car.
If you are cycling on roads with cars parked on one side, you should cycle away from the cars. This will reduce the chances of a driver opening their door and you hitting it. When you ride further to the left, you will be able to swerve and avoid the collision.
Be Careful When Riding Against The Traffic
There are a lot of people who assume that riding against the traffic will be safer. This is true to a certain extent because you will be able to see the oncoming vehicles. However, doing this will increase the chances of an accident because drivers are not expecting a bicycle riding against the traffic.
The most common accident when you ride against the traffic is when a vehicle turns from a side street. They will often turn into a cyclist because they are not expecting them to be there. After all, there is no reason for them to assume that a cyclist will be coming up the street.
The best way to avoid these types of accidents will be to not ride against the traffic. If there is a bike lane, you should still avoid this because drivers are expecting cyclist from the opposite direction. You can continue riding against traffic if the bike lane is separated from the street or has enough space for 2-way traffic. Of course, you will still need to be vigilant when crossing streets to avoid an accident.
Being hit by a car is the worst nightmare of any cyclist. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to improve your safety and reduce the chances of an accident. Making yourself as visible as possible is important, particularly when you are cycling at night. You also need to ride with the traffic to avoid any issues.