Dedicated bike paths are always the best option for a cyclist, but it’s rare that a path will take you all the way to your destination. Most cyclists will have to pedal along a road at some point. The following tips will help to keep a cyclist safe in traffic.
- Eyes up! It can be tempting to look at the road when you cycle, but keep your head up to see any oncoming hazards. It can also be helpful to make eye contact with drivers when you’re stopped – it reminds them you are there!
- Make sure to avoid cars’ blind spots in jammed or heavy traffic. Often accidents occur because a car turns or pulls out of their lane and do not see the cyclist beside them. Stop in the centre of lane between cars if possible.
- Bike lights and bright clothing aren’t just for the dark! They can help others to see you even during the day time, and especially at peak hour which often coincides with sunset.
- Avoid using music players and mobile phones while you cycle. They will distract you from potential hazards.
- It can help to “ride as if you are invisible”! Imagining that no one can see you is a great way of pre-empting the dangers of possible inattentive drivers.
- Be aware that parked cars may open their doors. If passing by a line of parked cars, try to steer at least 1.5 metres clear of the parking bays.
- Remember to be extra cautious in the rain. Not only does the wet weather make the roads slippery to cyclists and drivers alike, but visibility can often become an issue with road lines and uneven road surfaces becoming more difficult to see.
- Avoid busier streets when possible. Use online mapping software to find a route that bypasses the busiest streets. It is safer to simply have to cross major roads than to ride along them.
- Always be aware of road conditions. The Main Roads website is useful for providing alerts and updates.
- And most importantly – always obey the law! This means following road rules and wearing a helmet.
Remember: no strategy is foolproof and accidents do happen. Even the most seasoned cyclist can suffer an accident because of the faults of someone else.
If you are a cyclist that has been in an accident at the fault of another person, it is important to speak to a good lawyer. A specialist personal injury law firm will be able to help you navigate the claims process and is an invaluable step in your recovery.
If you believe you need assistance feel free to contact one of our specialist lawyers on (08) 9325 4799.