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As a bicycle commuter, you enjoy the fact that you don’t have to drive your car or use public transportation to reach your destination.

What you don’t enjoy is the potential to be part of a serious bicycle-vehicle accident at some point in the future.

Since this is a serious accident that can cause injury or even death, you want to follow a variety of safety tips at all times. Here are three things to keep in mind:

  • Use hand signals and make eye contact with drivers: This is a must, as it’s the best way to give motor vehicle operators a clear idea of what you are doing and what you are thinking.
  • Watch for opening doors: Keeping your eyes on moving vehicles is one thing, but watching out for those that are parked is another thing entirely. If a person opens a door into your path, you have two options: Attempt to swerve to get out of the way, or strike it head on. Either move can cause an accident and injury.
  • Use a bicycle lane, when available. It’s not always an option, but any time you can ride in a bicycle lane you should do so.

By following these three safety tips, you’ll feel better about your ability to remain safe as a bicycle commuter.

If something goes wrong and you’re involved in an accident, call for help or ask a witness to do so on your behalf. You should then receive treatment, learn more about the cause of the crash and implement a plan for protecting your legal rights.

Source: Bicycling, “5 Safety Pointers for the Urban Cyclist,” accessed June 14, 2018