There are obvious biking safety tips that most of us can cite right off the top of our heads, like wearing a helmet and adhering to the law. However, these tips can sometimes create a false sense of safety when there are many other factors involved like speeding cars and clueless pedestrians. Riding a bike, like driving a car, should be approached as if everyone and everything around you has no idea you are on the road. Anticipating other people's mistakes will put you ahead of the game and into a safer ride.
A bicycle headlight is not only required by law, it is an excellent deterrent to getting hit. Remember, you are assuming that no one can see you, even in the daylight. Having a continuous light fired up at all times is smart safety. There are many models to choose from including some without batteries that charge by a device that uses your wheel power. Some have a flashing LED option that you can operate for extra security when needed. A headlight can also be mounted on your helmet which works just as well as a headlight (although both choices are optimal). In addition, a flashing red light on the back of the helmet is an excellent safety beacon.
Sound is a great way to get noticed. Screaming at an ignorant driver or walker can only get you in trouble as well as steal your focus from the road. Mount a loud horn on your bike and use it whenever needed.
Most of the time a bicycle cannot beat a car. Do not even try. Give the car room and do not ride so fast where it is not safe to do so.
Do Not Ride On Sidewalks
This is another law bicyclists forget exist. Riding on sidewalks is dangerous any way and any where. Walk your bike if you have to use the sidewalk.
Do Not Ride Against Traffic
Bikes should travel the same way cars do. Riding against traffic is almost always a sure way to have an accident. It has been noted that it can increase your chances of an accident up to three times more than riding with traffic. Drivers are not expecting vehicles to come toward them, it can cause panic and confusion.
A driver will usually not see you if you pull up alongside at a red light. The light turns green, you go straight, the driver goes right and you get hit. Stop behind a car so they can see you in their mirror. If this is not possible wait for the car to proceed before you do. Remember, not everyone uses their signal light.
Too many people hop on their bike without the slightest regard to their clothing. Dark colors may mean a dark outcome. Bicyclists easily blend in with their surroundings, especially when blacks and browns are worn. Try wearing bright or white colors to stand out for a safe ride. If you are inclined, roll-up fluorescent safety vests can be purchased and attached to your bike and put on when you ride.