Rock Talk

Bike Safety Tips For East Coast Bicyclists

Last updated on October 31, 2019 at 04:57 pm

Riding a bicycle on busy roads can be a little scary, a lot of fun and really practical! As local cities get more congested, biking may be the fastest way for you to get to work, get groceries or just get from A to B. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just an occasional rider, safety should always come first on the road. Here are a few bike safety tips for you to keep in mind while mounted on your two-wheeled steed.

  1. Safely share the road with others. You’ll need to share the road with many other commuters while avoiding obstacles. From taxi doors to SUVs, buses and roadkill, you’ll want to keep your eyes and ears open and observant at all times.
  2. Avoid blind spots. If you’re riding in the bike lane and fewer than five feet from a vehicle in front of you, assume that you’re invisible. Make sure to leave plenty of room if you’re coming up to an intersection. Drivers aren’t always sure where they’re headed and often change course on a dime.
  3. Be mindful of road hazards. In the summer, road sinkholes tend to appear more often, and the East Coast is never short on tire-blowing potholes. Be mindful of these and other potential construction hazards.
  4. Always wear a helmet — even if your local laws don’t require one. Although it’s easy to guard against, head trauma is one of the most common bike injuries. The more often you ride your bike, the more protective gear you should wear.
  5. Follow the rules of the road. Try to behave as a motor vehicle would. Make turn signals and ride with traffic, NOT against it. John Forester’s theory of vehicular cycling states that if you behave like a respectable vehicle, you’ll get treated like one. Be sure to have lights on both sides of your bike when riding after dark so that people can anticipate your next move. In fact, it’s the law in most states.
  6. Know the law. Be sure to fully understand your local laws for riding on the road and your rights should you get into an accident. The New Jersey Department of Transportation has resources to help you get started, as does the League of American Bicyclists.

Do you often ride your bike around cars? Plymouth Rock Assurance wants to hear your safety tips. Share yours in the comments below.

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One thought on “Bike Safety Tips For East Coast Bicyclists

  1. In suburban roadways that offer a sidewalk, ride on the sidewalk. You may have to stop for the rare walker and yield to him/her, but you’ll avoid the risk of being hit by an inattentive driver. Avoid riding on the road if a bike path is an available alternative.
    Drivers may not see, or expect to see us: they look for cars, pickup trucks, other large vehicles. Some drivers do not even see motorcycles, so don’t expect to be seen. Carry pepper spray for attack-dogs. Wear bright colors & always a helmet!

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