Bicycles are a great way to stay in shape while also reducing your impact on the environment. While many cities have set up bike lanes to welcome cyclists, motorists are often less welcoming. A single moment of intention or frustration on their part can result in serious injuries for you.
While your actions can’t completely prevent an accident, they can reduce your risk when sharing the road with drivers. Here are a few safety tips for bicyclists to help you stay safe and secure while riding.
Obey All Traffic Rules
Bicyclists are beholden to the same rules of the road as all other motorists. That means you must stop at red lights and stop signs, as well as avoid riding on the sidewalk. Always ride in the street with the flow of traffic and never against it. Cyclists are also expected to use hand signals when turning:
- Left Turn – Extend your left arm out at your side, parallel to the ground. Point to the left with your pointer finger or extend all the fingers on your hand.
- Right Turn – Bend your left arm at the elbow, with the hand facing up and the palm facing forward.
- Stopping or Slowing – Bend your right or left arm at the elbow, with your hand facing downward and your palm facing out.
Make Yourself Visible
High visibility is especially important at night when passenger vehicles are most likely to overlook cyclists. Wear bright, reflective clothing so you’re visible to motorists. Outfit your bike with lights and/or reflectors. Use a front facing light to improve visibility at night, and use a rear facing reflector to signal your presence to any vehicles behind you.
Avoid Road Hazards When Possible
If you know a particular route sees a lot of traffic at a certain time of day, consider using another road. Avoid riding when the weather is poor, as rain makes accidents more likely for both bicyclists and drivers. Be on the look out for potholes, pedestrians, and animals when riding. Be extra cautious when riding alongside parked cars, as motorists often throw open their doors without looking first.
Get Help If Injured in an Accident
Along with medical treatment, reliable legal representation is a must after a serious bicycle accident. When negligence is a factor, Hinkle Law Offices is in your corner. Our attorneys understand the dangers facing bicyclists on Albuquerque roads, and we’re dedicated to making your voice heard.