On most roads, bicycle riders have the same legal rights and responsibilities as motorists. Even though cyclists and motorists have equal rights, bicycle riders realize that caution is warranted due to the weight imbalance. Bike riders can maximize their safety and facilitate the overall flow of traffic by interacting with motorists and pedestrians in an effective manner.
A bicycle is just one of several vehicle types that automobile drivers encounter. In some areas, farm tractors travel short distances on roadways. Some municipalities allow golf carts on their streets. Most licensed drivers are capable of safely encountering different types of vehicles, but a cyclist can enhance road safety by keeping several factors in mind.
Motorists assess the forward motion of a bicycle before attempting to pass. You assist each passing motorist greatly by riding in a consistent manner. If you usually ride near the edge of the road, stay there. If you usually ride in the middle of your lane, you might consider momentarily moving to the right as a gracious acknowledgment of the passing motorist.
With practice, you may be able to simply rotate your head to one side and use your peripheral vision to evaluate the traffic behind you. The sound of vehicles in your surrounding area sometimes helps estimate their speed of travel. If necessary, you can reduce you own speed to allow all other traffic to clear an area before you regain your speed.
Communicate to others
Use hand signals to indicate your intention to turn left or right. If you are new to the act of lifting one arm from the handlebar to signal, you may need to practice the procedure. The proper use of hand signals not only conveys your intention, but it also adds an element of predictability.
In addition to motorists, you are likely to encounter pedestrians. Walkers or joggers may become startled when suddenly overcome from behind by a bicycle. Some bike riders vocalize a quick greeting before reaching unsuspecting pedestrians. Be especially wary of the unpredictable movements of small children.
Some elements of road design are potentially troublesome for bicycle riders. Storm grates with long, narrow openings are capable of allowing a bicycle wheel to fall through. Railroad tracks must be crossed at a perpendicular angle. The protruding metal rail of a train track is capable of suddenly diverting the direction of a bicycle wheel.
The overall objective for everyone on the road is to reach their respective travel destinations safely and timely. Contact a bike shop for more information on the various models of bicycles ideally suited for transportation.
For more information, contact Tri-A-Bike Inc. or a similar company.