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3 critical rules of the road for cyclist safety

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Auto Accidents |

Cyclists technically have the same basic rights as anyone else on public roads. Bicycles are vehicles, even though they don’t have an internal motor, so most of the same laws apply. People in larger vehicles have an obligation to share the road with cyclists.

Unfortunately, drivers are not keen on watching for cyclists and adhering to traffic safety rules in general. Therefore, it falls to the cyclist to make safety-conscious choices for their own protection. There are certain safety rules that can make a major difference in someone’s likelihood of experiencing a potentially severe crash when out on a ride.

Consistently signaling to others

Communication is key to safety in traffic. Larger vehicles have built-in systems to facilitate visual communication between motorists. Most bicycles do not have built-in turn indicators and brake lights. However, cyclists still need to communicate with others in traffic. They need to use arm signals to indicate when they intend to stop or turn in traffic. They can also add illuminated systems to their bikes that facilitate communication with others in traffic.

Knowing when to yield the right of way

While cyclists should be able to travel in traffic like any other vehicle, people don’t necessarily notice bicycles on the road. At a four-way stop, for example, a cyclist may have the right of way. However, another driver may fail to notice them and could cause a crash. Cyclists may need to make snap judgments in the moment where they perhaps choose to wait for an extra turn or pause an extra second in case someone in the motor vehicle doesn’t notice them in traffic.

Prioritizing safer routes

People who use bicycles for local transportation often simply travel the fastest and most expedient route to their destinations. However, taking a slightly more circuitous route is sometimes a smart decision. Cyclists who travel on streets with bike lanes and slower speed limits could protect themselves from the worst types of crashes. They may also want to plan a route that allows them to make right turns instead of left turns at busy locations. Small changes in the planned path of travel can have a major impact on someone’s overall safety.

Following traffic laws and special safety rules can make cycling safer by reducing the risk of a crash with a car. With that said, those who do end up hurt in cycling collisions may benefit from reviewing their options for holding the motorist involved accountable.

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