Seattle ranks among the bike-friendly cities in the country. A significant portion of the city’s population bikes to work. However, according to a recent post in The Seattle Times, the number of cyclist commuters is on a sharp decline. Although the number of cyclists is going down, there are still thousands of cyclists on the city’s roads.
A majority of car accident fatalities involve vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists can cause serious road accidents that they would otherwise avoid by observing essential road safety tips and rules.
One of the main reasons why cyclists get into road accidents is that, in most cases, drivers and other road uses do not notice them. It is very easy for a cyclist to fall into a driver’s blind spot, especially when turning or changing lanes. This worsens if the cyclist wears dark clothes. Cyclists need to wear brightly colored reflective gear to increase their visibility. It also helps to fit lights on the bicycle when riding in bad weather or at night.
Follow traffic rules
Some cyclists are a bit rebellious on the roads, jumping traffic lights, using the wrong lanes and not considering other road users. Every cyclist should observe traffic rules, just like other road users. These rules exist so that motorists, pedestrians and cyclists behave predictably. Motorists expect cyclists to stick to their lanes, use hand signals when turning or stopping, and even exercise some common courtesy on the road. Observing such simple practices should help cyclists avoid confrontations with other road users, which sometimes lead to road accidents.
Know bike capabilities
Finally, some cyclists overestimate the capabilities of their bicycles and their own performance, especially in hazardous conditions. Most bicycles, for instance, do not fare well in bad weather or on slippery roads. Cyclists must understand the limits of their bicycles, which should help prevent any unfortunate circumstances that may endanger the cyclist and other road users.
Some cycling accidents are avoidable; it only calls for more safety considerations from cyclists. This does not mean that motorists do not cause cycling related accidents, but more responsibility falls on the cyclist.