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1-800-446-5879
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More Than 40 Years Experience and Millions Recovered
1-800-446-5879
Get In Touch For A Free Consultation

From city streets to highways – bicycle safety tips

Riding a bike in San Rafael comes with all sorts of dangers. You constantly have to be on the look-out for potholes and other road hazards, pedestrians stepping out in front of you because they are looking for cars and not bicycles, and even random dogs running into the street at the wrong time. While one of these dangers can cause a nasty accident, it's the cars and trucks you have to share the road with that pose the biggest risk. Unfortunately, when a car collides when a cyclist, it can cause severe injuries.

Drivers often view cyclists as a nuisance that should not be on the road. However, it is important to remember that not only do you have to follow the same traffic laws that motor vehicle operators do, you also have just as much right to be on the road. Read below for some safety tips for cycling in traffic that can help you avoid an accident with a vehicle.

The basics

When in doubt about riding safely, it is always good to go back to the basics. For example, you should wear your helmet every time you climb into the saddle. Even if you are just taking a quick ride around the block to shift through the gears after a cleaning, wear the helmet. Choose bright colors and reflective clothing as part of your riding kit.

Obey traffic laws and the rules of the road. This means stopping at every stop sign and red light, riding with the flow of traffic, and maintaining a safe speed. Be prepared to yield to cars and pedestrians, even if you have the right of way. Also, properly maintain your bike and outfit it with appropriate reflectors and lights.

Technique matters

Technique and your position on the road can also make a difference when it comes to staying safe during a ride. Try to keep sufficient space between you, vehicles and other riders. It is important to have room to maneuver in case something unexpected happens. You should also keep a nice cushion between your tires and the curb.

When riding with a partner or in a group, try to stay single file when there is traffic around and try to avoid passing other cyclists on the right. Also, be vocal when you ride. Do not be afraid to give a shout when you need to draw another cyclist's or pedestrian's attention.

If you are riding through the city, keep an eye out for opening car doors since these can cause some serious injuries. Furthermore, if traffic is moving slowly, go ahead and take the lane. The last thing you want are vehicles trying to squeeze by you and pushing you closer and closer into the curb or parked cars.

Riding on the highway

Riding on the highway requires that you stay extra alert and use an abundance of caution at all times. With the cars around you moving faster, your time to react to danger is greatly reduced. Keep as far into in the shoulder as you possibly can. Listen for cars coming up behind you and try to keep an eye on what is going on to the rear. Since the wind from passing cars can knock you off your bike, brace yourself when cars pass you. Also, keep your body low and tighten your grip on the handle bars. This will help you maintain control when large vehicle pass you at high speeds.

While the above tips can help you stay safe while cycling, it may not be possible to avoid every accident with a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a collision with a car, you may be able to file a claim for compensation.

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