Cycling to work is one of the best ways to start your morning. By the time you get to the office you will feel nice and refreshed and you’ll be ready to get down to business straight away. You will also save lots of money because you’re not paying for gas, and you will help the environment. Those are all pretty good reasons to swap your car for your bicycle, but there is a hidden danger you must watch out for. You definitely don’t want to get into any road traffic accidents.
If you get hit by a car there is a much greater chance of seriously injuring yourself and sometimes much worse. You don’t stand a chance because you have nothing to protect yourself against a powerful machine moving at great speed. It’s unlikely you will be hit, but that is only if you’re very careful and you know what you are doing. If you make a mistake you could be in danger, so we’re going to look at some of the ways you can stay safe on the road while cycling to work.
Don’t ride against the traffic
You shouldn’t be cycling into oncoming traffic at any stage in your journey. I know you’re not going to cycle all the way to work in the wrong lane, but you might be tempted to do it at some point. Maybe there is only 50 meters between you and the work entrance and you will chance your luck. Don’t take any chances and just walk with your bike on the path.
Don’t pass on the right
You should never pass on the right-hand side of a vehicle because it might not be able to see you. When a driver is turning into the right they definitely don’t consider that someone could be foolish enough to drive straight in front of them. They will hit you and you won’t enjoy the fall. If they’re driving at a decent speed it could be even more serious than a few bruises.
Keep your eye on the drivers
When you drive around in your car do you look for cyclists? Maybe you do because you’re a cyclist yourself, but most drivers won’t even think about it. You need to start looking directly into the drivers’ eyes and you can only be certain they know you are there when they look back at you. It’s an easy way to prevent yourself from getting injured because you assumed you were safe.
Watch out for road hazards
If you’re driving along the road and you hit a little rock you probably won’t realize you hit anything. Now go over the same rock when you’re cycling at high-speed and it could throw you into oncoming traffic. There are a huge number of dangerous objects that could be lying on the road when you cycle to work and the only way you will see them is by concentrating.
Use hand signals
Everyone knows that you should use hand signals when you’re cycling on the road, but how many people actually use them? Most people would rather keep their hands on the handlebars, but if any drivers are not skilled in the art of mind reading they won’t have any idea what you’re going to do. Some will wait to see what you do, but others won’t care about you.
Please stay safe
There are obviously a hundred different things you can do to stay safe and we’ve just covered a few of them today, but please stay safe when you are ever out on your bike. Remember that common sense goes a long way.
Today’s guest author, Jenny Wadlow, is a freelance blogger and she has previously worked for a well known personal injury lawyer in Atlanta. She thinks that it is important to take steps and ensure safety while traveling to and from work. She is a fun-loving person and her hobbies include reading and cycling.
Jenny: I might add that all riders should wear helmets and some type of high-visibility gear to help to be seen by drivers. Thanks, Pat