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Bike Safety

How a Bicyclist can Stay Visible in Traffic

While bike lanes are more common in many places these days, even the presence of a dedicated lane doesn’t ensure drivers will see you, especially in high traffic areas or during rush hour. You’ll want to do all you can to make yourself visible to even the most hurried or distracted driver, thereby decreasing your chances of being involved in a crash. Here are just a few ways to stand out in traffic, no matter the location or conditions.

Wear Bright or Flashy Clothing

There’s a reason that cycling gear often incorporates flashy patterns and bright or neon colors. These shades, which typically include yellows, greens, and oranges, make you stand out in a way that normal, everyday wear simply can’t achieve.

Ensure You have Functioning Safety Equipment

Visibility in low light and other less than optimal riding conditions requires lights and reflectors. All states and many cities and towns have laws and ordinances that require the use of specific types and numbers of reflectors and/or lights. Ensure you check out the laws applicable in your home community and adhere to those regulations at all times.

Ride Predictably and Follow Traffic Laws

One thing that keeps all individuals on the road safe and visible – pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike – is knowledge of and adherence to traffic laws. Know and follow all traffic laws and ride predictably. Follow speed limits and traffic signs and signals. Don’t change lanes any more than necessary and always signal appropriately before doing so.

Share the Road Responsibly

If a bike lane is present, use it, provided it’s passable and safe. Otherwise, share the road responsibly. In many places, you’re required to ride as far to the right as possible, unless you’re preparing to make a left turn. At the far right is where most drivers will expect to see cyclists and will therefore notice you more readily. Give others on the road proper clearance and afford them sufficient forewarning, if you’re changing lanes, turning, or will otherwise be moving in and about the regular flow of traffic.

Use Reflective Clothing

Riding gear doesn’t just include colorful clothing with distinctive patterns. You’ll find there are many jackets, vests, hats, shoes, and other pieces of clothing that incorporate additional reflectors. Some even feature led lighting technology to increase your visibility in inclement weather, around dawn and dusk, and when riding at night.

Staying Safe on the Road

Bike lanes are great, where they exist, but even a lane for cyclists doesn’t guarantee all drivers will see you. Not to mention the increased risks that come with riding where there is no bike lane or in low light conditions. The hazards are numerous, but with the strategies presented here though, you make yourself as visible as you possibly can.

Staying visible means you’re less likely to be hit. Your goal, of course, is to avoid accidents, but it may not always be possible. With the tactics presented here, you also protect yourself if you are in a crash. After all, a car or truck driver will have a much harder time saying you were at fault for an accident if you employ these high visibility strategies.

 

This article was written by Personal Injury Help, an organization that provides information about personal injury cases* and helps connect injured people with attorneys. To find out more, please head to www.personalinjury-law.com or reach out to them at help@personalinjury-law.org.

*This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice or opinion.