Whether you’re an avid or novice biker, the most important thing to keep in the back of your head before going out on your ride is making sure your ride is as safe as can be. When riding alongside traffic, it can be difficult for passing motorists to see cyclists due to the difference in size between passenger vehicles and bikes. That is why you need to remain extra vigilant when riding alongside traffic and to make sure you stand out as much as possible. Here are some of the top ways to stay visible while cycling:
Dress to Stand Out: This is fairly obvious, but when you’re out on your ride you should wear clothes with colors that stand out. Traditional colors like blue and black will blend in with your surroundings. You should wear clothes with florescent colors. They will stand out more than traditional colors. The most popular fluorescent colors are orange, yellow and pink. At night, be sure to wear something reflective, as the fluorescent colors won’t help if it’s dark. Put reflectors on your bike and helmet as well. The more you have the better you will stand out at night!
Ride in Well-Lit Areas: If you ride on main roads and not designated bike paths, you should stick to well-lit areas, especially if you like to ride your bike or early in the morning before the sun comes out. Main roads and roads in commercialized areas will have plenty of plenty of streetlights which will make you more visible. You should try to avoid back roads if you can.
Ride Predictably: This is especially important if you normally ride alongside traffic. You should always ride in a predicable manner, that way so motorists can see you. Riding predictably means that you shouldn’t weave in out and out of traffic and to adhere to the rules of the road.
Remember Your Hand Signals: Unless your bike is heavily customized, your lights don’t have built in turn signals. This is why you need to use your hand signals. By doing this motorists will have a better understanding of where you’re going. There are three basic hand signals: left turn, right turn and stopping/slowing down. The NHTSA has a visual chart on their website if you need a refresher.
Don’t Pass on the Right: A driver’s biggest blind spot is to its right. Passing on the right side can make a biker essentially invisible. Motorists usually do not expect anything to be on their right when making a right turn. When they do this and cut you off (or worse) it’s called a “right hook” and you’ll want to avoid this hazardous situation it if possible.
If you take the right steps in maintaining your visibility when you’re riding your bike, the safer your ride is going to be. You shouldn’t assume that motorists are going to be able to see you, you should always be alert and vigilant when you’re out riding. These tips may be obvious to some, but you’re better safe than sorry!
This article was created Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information.