With so much traffic on the road these days, you can usually get to work faster by taking your bicycle. The problem is that there is actually a lot more traffic, so it can be quite dangerous to commute by bike. Once you get into the heart of the city you are competing against cars, delivery trucks and even pedestrians. It’s like riding through a minefield.
This isn’t to say that you should avoid commuting by bike. It’s just that you need to take some safety precautions to avoid a bicycle accident that can cause you some serious injuries and having to hire a bike accident attorney to fight in court. Sharing the road is not easy for some to do so it is sadly up to you to protect yourself.
In this article, we will go over some of the safety precautions to take when you are commuting to work with your bike.
Always wear a helmet
You may live in an area in which wearing a helmet is not required. This shouldn’t discourage you from wearing one anyway. This is the most important thing to wear to keep you safe even when you aren’t commuting.
You could even be travelling on a bicycle path in which you don’t have to share the road with any vehicles or pedestrians and should still wear one. The reason is that even simply falling off of the bike can cause massive head injuries with or without somebody else causing the accident.
Rocks or sticks in the path, cracks in the pavement or even oil slicks can cause you to fall off of your bicycle and can spell trouble.
Assume that nobody can see you
Although you may be wearing brightly coloured reflective clothing, have a flashing light on the bike and other gear to make your presence seen, there are going to be drivers that are simply not paying attention. Always assume that no matter what the precautions are that you’re taking that drivers can’t see you.
Slow down when coming to an intersection even when you have the right of way. Some drivers are not looking for bicyclists and will roll right through an intersection and smash right into you.
Follow road rules
Unless you are in a dedicated bike path then you are part of traffic and have to follow the same rules of the road as if you were a vehicle. In other words, you can’t run through any red lights and you have to stop for pedestrians on a crosswalk.
You don’t have to sit in the line of traffic and can ride alongside them, but you still have to obey the rest of the traffic rules.
Be aware of what’s around you
Avoid wearing headphones while riding as you need to hear what’s happening around you. Ambulances, cars honking at you and other sounds are important to stay safe. In addition to this, look inside the parked cars that you are riding beside. If you see a person in the front seat, assume they will open their door so be ready to avoid that.
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