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What can cyclists do to try and stay safe on the roads?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2024 | Car Accidents

If you ride a bicycle, you no doubt feel very vulnerable at times. Some drivers can be so inconsiderate, distracted or aggressive that you may even question whether riding your bicycle on the roads is a good idea.

You have every right to be on the road (bar some major roads where cycling is banned). Drivers are obligated to treat you with respect and take care around you, as you are the more vulnerable road user. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

Despite it being a driver’s obligation to take care around you, you also need to practice self-care, as you will come off far worse in a collision. Here are some steps you could consider:

Using quieter routes

The direct route is not always the best. Sometimes, an alternative route could be much safer, which even though it might take a little longer, should result in it being more enjoyable. If there are cycle paths heading in the direction you want to go, take advantage of them. If there are routes that avoid you having to turn across oncoming traffic, they can be a wise election.

Make it easy for drivers to notice you

Assume that many drivers will not be looking out for you. They might be sleepy, drunk, distracted or simply not used to seeing many cyclists. Things that catch their attention, such as flashing lights, reflective ankle bands or a brightly colored helmet can increase the chance they notice you. Riding predictably can also help, for example, stopping at lights, overtaking on the correct side and so on.

All these steps can reduce the chance a driver injures you, but they cannot rule it out altogether. By showing the steps you took to protect your safety, you can help show that the driver was negligent, which will increase your chances of getting adequate compensation.