It is inevitable that road accidents can occur anytime. According to statics from MATEC, road accidents usually occur at 6 to 10pm, so it is better to avoid riding on the road.
To combat cycling related accidents, cyclists have to be aware of the traffic surroundings. Here are some tips on how to manage traffic and ride better with safety first in mind.
Wear Bright Clothing
Riding early in the morning is an awesome thing to do. You will love the fresher air, lighter traffic, and less pollution. However, it could be dangerous when drivers normally drive in the most blurry state of mind. So be sure to be as noticeable as possible.
Front And Rear Blinkers
If you don’t own a set of bright clothing for cycling, it is strongly recommended to get a set of brightness lights for you bike. You shall never underestimate how much you actually need it, even when it’s doing the job for you when you are not aware of the drivers’ carelessness around you.
Cycling on the road, you should always anticipate the behaviours and movements of other road users and possible danger that might appear. Make eye contact and observe the traffic on the road, behind and around you. Practice this so that it becomes a habit. Do your best to be sure of your own moves in traffic and make it known by gestures.
Left is Right
You should always ride on the left, in the same direction as other traffics. Some people still believe that cyclists are like pedestrians and should ride facing traffic. This is not only illegal, but has also been shown to dramatically increase the risk of a collision. If you feel unsafe, use a rearview mirror on your handlebar.
There are many obstacles on the road, but the most common ones we have are potholes. Like bumps, if they are big enough, they can easily throw you off, especially during the rain. Do your best to avoid them, but keep in mind to always look around before swerving around it to avoid passing cars.
Many motorist-cyclist collisions occur at intersections. The majority of these happen when the cyclist is moving straight ahead. To reduce the danger, you must observe the following rules on intersections and turn lanes. When approaching an intersection with several lanes, choose the lane with the arrow pointing in the direction that you want to go. Watch for vehicles as they might make sudden turns.
You must always put yourself in a defensive position, as you may get cut off by turning cars if you are not in the appropriate lane. If you cannot make it across traffic to position yourself in the correct lane, you still have the choice to dismount and walk in the crosswalk which would be a safer option.
On the road, you might encounter drivers speeding off at the red lights. When you are at the traffic lights, it is always the best to follow the traffic rules. Never take for granted that all motorists will obey the traffic rules. It is strongly recommended to be more cautious and be ready.
There’re accidents where cyclists got smacked by an opening car door, from 20km/h to an immediate stop which can be very painful and could be bone breaking. When riding through road with parallel parking lots, be careful not to ride near the cars as some people might not be aware of passing vehicles or cyclists.
Wet n Wild
Poor visibility can affect your judgment while riding in the rain. However, what’s more concerning is the passing traffic. Again, wear bright clothing because sometimes it is hard for the motorists to notice you, especially during the rain.
Most of us drive cars and also own a phone. These two do not mix well! We all have been guilty because of typing while driving. But please do your best to put that phone away while driving. Be fair to other road users and pedestrians. Many accidents and near misses happened due to phone usage while driving.
Always remember, ride safe!