Riding your bike is great exercise and also helps to reduce pollution. If you commute to work on your bicycle, then you probably know how dangerous the roadways can be for a bicyclist. Drivers do not always watch out, and an accident with a vehicle often results in serious injuries for you. It is essential that you do everything you can to stay safe when riding your bike.
The Seattle Department of Transportation explains that roadways in the area have the addition of bike lanes. These lanes are only for bicycle traffic. They offer a protected area where vehicles cannot drive or park. Staying in the bike lane can help you to be more visible and lower the chances of an accident. However, even with the protection of a designated lane in which to ride, you still must follow the rules for using the lane and for interacting with traffic to stay safe.
Even when riding in a bike lane, you must pay attention at all times, but especially in the green pavement areas. These areas indicate that vehicles may pass through the bike lane. Always be alert at intersections and when passing driveways for vehicles coming in or out or turning.
Riding outside the lane
Despite having designated bike lanes, you may not feel comfortable riding alongside traffic. If this is the case, then you can ride on the sidewalk, but you must watch out for pedestrians.
When turning left, make sure you use the designated left turn box. To use it, you will ride into the box and turn in the direction you want to go within the box. Then, you will wait for the light to change to green and proceed forward. Using the box allows you to avoid a standard left turn where you must cross traffic and watch for oncoming vehicles.