Riding safely in traffic is a common case about the bicycle safety that the cyclists would worry about in daily life. The fact you can't deny is that the cyclists need to share the roads with cars, trucks and other vehicles. Cyclists are often regarded as the second-class citizens of the roads, but legally, the cyclists enjoy the same rights and obligations that the vehicles owners have.
Another fact is that biking through a city road sounds terrifying to many people, because the cyclists need to ride close to vehicles on the roads. But riding in traffic is not as terrifying as the people imagine. Here are some basic strategies for you to ride safely in traffic.
Wear helmet when cycling
A helmet won't prevent the coming of accidents, but it can prevent you from serious head injuries. 9 out of 10 died in the accidents because they don't wear helmets. So wearing helmets is essential when you riding in traffic, because the helmet greatly reduces the risks of getting your head injured. But make sure that your helmet fits you.
Preparing well for you
You need to make the drivers spot you when riding in traffic so that they won't hit you. Therefore, you need to wear bright clothing, wear the equipment that can protect you, and there should be lights on your bikes, especially at night. The lights are as important as the wheel when riding at night, so always let your lights up in the dark places. Besides, the clothing and the shoes you wear should be comfortable.
Avoid being hit
Riding safely in traffic requires the cyclists to ride with a suitable speed---not so fast that the cyclists can control the bikes. In order to avoid crashes, the cyclists need to ride on the bikes that fit them and equipped with the equipment that can protect them. Besides, examine the bike make sure that the bike works well in case that he brake doesn't work when the cyclists need to stop.
Look your surrounding and listen
You should pay attention to the surrounding to react quickly to the emergency. "Always except the worse", the writer of How to be Better Cyclist and Cyclecraft says in his book. This will help you to be alert when riding on the roads. Look and listen around is the key concept to be alert to the situations of the high-traffic roads. Look around includes looking at other vehicles, the potholes, parked cars, gaps, pedestrians and so on. When looking around, remember to look back in case that there would be vehicle behind you.
Listen to the squealing, hard engine acceleration so that you can let cars pass that behind you. Do not wear headphone when riding in traffic, or you may not listen to the warning sound of the cars and get hurt. In other words, you need to pay all attention the cycling circumstance, just as you are driving your cars. You must rely on your sense of both hearing and sight when riding in traffic.
Pick the less-traffic routes and find the best road position
The roads with fewer cars, fewer obstacles, lower speed limits would be the best choice for the cyclists to ride safely. You don't need to worry about colliding with the vehicles on the roads when riding on the quiet roads. Don't ride in the gutter so that the drivers can see you. So choose a quite road if you don't have to ride on a busy road.
If you must ride on the busy roads, try to find the best position to ride your bike. In a good road position, you can look around better or even prevent yourself from the risks of injuries. The best position for you to ride in is the middle of the left-hand lane. Don't ride close to the parked cars, or close the trucks with heavy goods or high-sided trucks. It would be dangerous once the vehicles rolled over.
Make eye contact
Do not assume that the drivers can spot you without any other contact. On the contrary, you should assume that every driver doesn't see you. At the intersections, make eye contact with the other drivers to ensure that they can see you.
Be aware of the vehicles behind you. When you want to turn in cycling, use the turn signals to make the drivers around you know where you want to go.
Follow the traffic flow and keep distance with the vehicles
When riding in the heavy traffic roads, always follow the traffic flow and never against it. It would be safer if you close to the flow of traffic because the drivers can spot you easily and won't try to pass over the traffic flow. Another good way to stay in safety is to keep distance with other vehicles.
Practice your cycling skills
Riding between the parked vehicles also requires some basic cycling skills for the cyclists. With good cycling skills, the cyclists would feel confident and comfortable when other vehicles pass them.
Always remember to signal
Use the signals when you want to merge with traffic or to take a turn. Making the drivers understand what you want to do so that they won't hit you by accident. You are less likely to be hit when the drivers see your signals. For example, use the turn signal when you want to turn left, remember that put your right arm out to turn right.
Stay off the sidewalk
Firstly, make sure that the law in your city allows you to stay off the sidewalk. It would be safe to ride on the sidewalks because the vehicles are not expecting to drive on the sidewalk. When staying off the sidewalk, be aware of the pedestrians.
Do not stop in the blind spot
Some cyclists stop to the right of a car which is already waiting at the red light or stop light. The driver can't see you when the light turns green. So don't stop in the blind spot, and you can stop behind the car rather than the right of vehicles.
Cycling safely in traffic is far more concerned bicycle safety issue for people. Follow these strategies, the cyclists can reduce the risks of being hit by others or hit pedestrians. So just riding safely in traffic every time you ride.