Cycling is one of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly methods of transportation. While it’s always ideal to cycle down a designated wooded path far away from the hustle and bustle of a city, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid traffic entirely.
If you commute alongside vehicles, here are some top tips to ensure you’re seen on the road.
1. Wear Florescent Clothing in the Daytime
When you’re cycling in the daylight you’ll want to wear something florescent. Florescent clothing is the most easily visible in daytime, and will draw in a motorists’ eye far more than something that’s simply bright or light colored. Florescent green, yellow, pink, or orange are all excellent options here. Better year, wear more than one color to increase your visibility!
2. Wear Reflective Clothing at Night
When you’re cycling at night, it doesn’t really matter what color you’re wearing because nobody can see you anyway. What’s more important is wearing something reflective so you’ll stand out against a passing car’s headlights. You can attach extra reflectors to your bicycle, your clothing, or even your helmet. Or, you can always opt for a reflective and florescent vest to be worn at all times.
3. Don’t Pass on the Right
It’s nearly impossible for someone to see you when you’re passing on the right. Oncoming traffic also won’t be able to see you if you’re on the right, hidden by other motorists. This is especially dangerous at busy intersections where someone may be turning right. To ensure everyone sees you, it’s usually safest to ride directly in the center of your lane.
4. Avoid the Door
Drivers aren’t the only ones who will have difficulty seeing you. Passengers exiting cars is a huge danger for cyclists. Getting doored (when someone opens a car door directly in front of you) is one of the deadliest situations for any cyclists. So how can you make passengers see you?
Unfortunately, there’s no sure-fire way to do so. Your best option is to just make it physically impossible for a car door to hit you. The average car door is 5’ long, so if you’re at least 4’ away from parked cars you should be fine.
5. Use a Better Bell
If you bought your bicycle from a local cycle shop, it’s likely it never came with a bell. If you bought it from a major department store you’re more likely to have a bell, but it’ll be very week and more useless than anything. If you cycle in an area with a lot of pedestrians, like in a major city or on a bicycle/jogging path, you’ll want a good bell to alert every one of your approach. BikePacking has a great review of some of the major players in the bicycle bell industry.
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. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally!
Thank you to Lauren DiCenso for the article!!