Riding to work can be a great way to blow off steam, save money on gas and vehicle repairs, or just a healthy way to start your day. When you pedal out of your driveway and into that bicycle lane you do not expect to get into an accident or become the victim of an oncoming vehicle. No one plans to be a victim and depending on what precautionary steps you take, you can avoid it.
There are many areas across the united states that are deemed unsafe for cyclists to commute on. These areas are normally those who have poor design for bike riders or too much traffic for a biker to safely commute.
Ways to Play it Safe on Your Commute
There are several ways to be safe while driving a car, walking, and biking. Here are a few to keep in mind when you are making that commute from your home by bicycle.
- Never Assume: If you assume that a vehicle or truck driver can see you in their rearview or side mirrors and you are in their blind spot, you could be creating conditions for an accident. On many busy highways there are truckers running loads to and from different places. These truckers are sitting very high off the ground. Therefore, they have a larger blind spot than a normal vehicle would. Their ability to view pedestrians or people on bicycles is obstructed.
- Cross at Safe Places: Some areas require you to sit and wait for a train, trolley, or bridge to pass or come down. These areas make it extremely difficult for bikers who are on a steady pace. Coming to a complete stop and then making a decision on when to advance is the best way to avoid accidents in these areas. Always cross in crossing lanes and never diagonally. There are risks that come with crossing any busy highway or street.
- Wear the Proper Gear: Wearing the proper gear can prevent accidents. If you are wearing a reflective jacket that oncoming traffic can clearly see, chances are you will not end up being accidently hit. Knee and elbow pads can also protect your body in case of an immediate stop or if you have to shift to another area that might not allow you to stay on your bike.
- Focus: Some people like to drift off into thought while commuting to work each morning. This can be a fatal mistake. While riding your bike or driving your vehicle, you should always focus on the roadways and your surroundings. When focus drifts off, so does your ability to prevent accidents.