Cycling on the road among automobiles, SUVs, and vehicles is a part of life. Cyclists have the same legal rights and obligations as motorists, yet cyclists are often treated as second-class citizens on the road. Also, cyclists are supposed to observe the same traffic regulations as motorists, but they must share the road with bigger, quicker vehicles and the occasionally irritated individuals who drive them. Here are some street-savvy tips for being a smarter, safer cyclist.
- Brakes Matter
If you can’t rapidly reach your hands on your brake levers, you may be unable to stop suddenly if necessary. Cyclists should ride with their hands covering their brake levers. Ensure that you are prepared and capable of using your brakes, as well as knowledgeable on how to do it safely. It is normally ideal to apply pressure equally to both brakes simultaneously. Take additional precautions if the weather is rainy, icy, or there are moist bushes on the road for instance.
- Suitable Road Position
By staying out of the gutter, you’ll be more visible to other cars and less likely to run into hazards such as slick drain covers, potholes, or debris on the side of the road. You also have greater room to maneuver to your left if someone does pass you too closely.
To avoid being overtaken by another car, ride further away from the curb. Doing so would be dangerous. In certain cases, traffic calming measures such as pedestrian refuges in the middle of the road or curb extensions don’t allow enough space for a car to safely pass a bike. Instead of attempting to pass you, vehicles that move into the middle of a lane should stay in their lane. When you ride during traffic, you’re considered to be in the ‘primary position,’ or taking the lane.
- Clear Signs
Give other drivers a heads-up about your intentions. Before executing your next move, make sure you’ve checked behind you and given plenty of warning by signaling loudly and clearly. Do not make a move until it is really necessary. Even the seasoned car accident lawyers in Georgia advise cyclists to maintain a lane position that prevents cars on your left from passing you too near. If you’re apprehensive about looking behind and/or signaling with one hand off the handlebars, it’s a good idea to practice in a safe, traffic-free place.
- Do Not Undertake A Truck
To commute safely, bikers should constantly be on the lookout for left-turning vehicles, which can be quite dangerous for them.
If you are riding on the left side of a large truck, the driver may not have noticed you in his or her mirrors and be forced to make a decision that puts your life in jeopardy.
So, while approaching a truck’s back, use extreme caution and refrain from using the road ahead of it. However, depending on how the roads are laid up, this may be tough to avoid at times. If, for example, traffic in the outer lane is stopped or going slowly, you may catch yourself overtaking a truck on your left despite riding in the authorized lane for buses, bicycles, and taxis. The same is true if you are being overtaken by a truck, and the vehicle eventually comes up behind you at traffic lights before completing the overtaking maneuver. Whenever this occurs, it’s a good idea to cut at the front of the truck and make sure the driver notices you. As opposed to hiding in plain sight on the curbside of the vehicle, this is preferable.
When you’re near a larger vehicle or coming up behind one, be extra cautious and aware of your surroundings. If you’ve ridden up or found yourself on the left side of a truck, don’t assume the driver has noticed you.
- Look Out For Doors
Leaving lots of space between parked automobiles can help deter people from opening their car doors blindly. After making sure the car is safe from being opened from the back, walk away from it, keeping a door’s width between you and the vehicle in case someone decides to open a door into your path. While it is not always feasible to see if somebody is sitting in a car at the end you wish to pass, it is worth checking as you approach.
Remember that it’s critical to have a good understanding of the road conditions. This necessitates scanning the road ahead for hazards including potholes, drain covers, road speed bumps, and cars sitting in the middle of the lane. Viewing your surroundings helps you anticipate possible difficulties, such as traffic signals, roundabouts, and intersections. This keeps you from needing to swerve, halt suddenly, or take actions that the other road users might not expect.