Commuting to work by bicycle gives you a chance to exercise, and is also good for the environment. Many cities are bike-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes. When you’re biking to work, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are three tips for safe bike commuting.
Always wear a properly fitted helmet when riding your bike. Traffic and road conditions are unpredictable, and your safety isn’t worth risking. For your bike, invest in quality lights that will make you visible to other drivers. Also, outfit your bike with international rear view bike mirrors to make it easier to check for traffic approaching from behind.
Cars that are moving and cars that are parked can both present danger for cyclists. When you’re biking past parked cars, it is safest to assume that the driver might open their door at any moment. Be sure to leave enough space between you and the parked cars to avoid being hit.
When you’re riding with traffic, most drivers will see you and give you the space you need to ride safely, but it’s still up to you to pay attention to the cars around you. In particular, if a car is approaching from behind, hang back as they pass you. Some drivers will turn right in front of a bike they just passed without giving it a second thought.
Every cyclist should use bike hand signals — using your left arm, point left for a left-hand turn, bend your elbow with raised hand for a right turn, and bend your elbow with your hand pointed to the ground to show that you’re stopping. Even with these signals, though, it’s important to make it as obvious as possible to drivers what you’ll be doing next. Make eye contact with drivers when you can, and signal early as you begin to move your bike into the new position.
Biking to work is great for your health and the environment. Take the time to learn bike safety and enjoy your daily commute.