Riding a bicycle in a bike-friendly city is fun, healthy and an effective way to travel. Bicycle safety is a top priority in many cities, with the addition of bicycle lanes, dedicated bicycle traffic signals and other safety measures to improve access. However, bicyclists should still use a great deal of caution to ensure their safety while traveling.

Bike-Friendly Cities: Why You Should Still Use Extra Caution When Riding On Busy Roads

Urban Bicycle Riding

Riding a bicycle in a city environment can be daunting and dangerous, even in the best circumstances. The volume of traffic and people in a hurry can be especially difficult during morning or evening rush-hour commutes. Long rows of curb-parked cars can be especially dangerous as car doors suddenly open or cars pull away from the curb without warning.

Bicycle Visibility

As a bicyclist, it is your responsibility to ensure that motorists, pedestrians and other bicyclists can easily see you. Wearing bright colors and using lights at dusk or dark is important to remain safe during bicycle travel. Using your voice, a bell or a horn is also a wise idea if visibility is difficult.

Traffic Laws

Bicyclists should read and review all bicycle transportation laws for their city and follow those laws carefully when riding. The rules for using signals, stopping at intersections and yielding to pedestrians should be carefully reviewed. Paying close attention to street markings and the surrounding flow of traffic requires full concentration on the part of the bicycle ride. Listening to music or talking on the phone may be illegal and is unwise during bicycle travel.

Avoiding Accidents with Motorists

Although a motorist may be required to yield to a bicycle based on local traffic laws, the motorist may miss seeing approaching bicycles traveling in a marked bicycle lane. Additionally, some cities may have well-marked bicycle lanes on some streets with no marked lanes on other streets. One of the most dangerous hazards for a bicyclist is a vehicle making a right or left turn; the alert bicyclist should always pay attention to turn signals and cars that are preparing to make a turn. It is important for the bicyclist to anticipate the possibility for a vehicle to make a right or left-hand turn at every intersection. It’s important to talk to a lawyer if you get injured. You can ask questions about bicycle accidents and legal responsibility online.

Bicycle travel in a bike-friendly city can be a safe and efficient way to commute. Understanding the laws for bicycle travel, using appropriate equipment and staying aware and alert while on the road will help to prevent injuries and accidents.