Tips for a safer urban cycling trip

By Steven Miller
Senior Partner

Riding your bike is a great way to get around the city, but it’s not always safe. Cyclists know that they aren’t always on drivers’ radars, so drivers may not expect them when they are present on the roadways.

While younger children might get away with riding on the sidewalk, that’s not a possibility for adults. What can you do, then, to make sure that you don’t fall victim to a driver’s carelessness?

There are rules for everyone to follow when cycling on urban streets

If you have the right state of mind, avoiding an accident should be easier than if you aren’t prepared. To start with, you need to get into the brain of a driver. Think about what you’d do when approaching certain intersections and if you’d be able to see a cyclist. Additionally, you need to apply the same driving rules to your ride. Treat your bicycle as if it’s a vehicle, so you follow the same laws as any other drivers.

Another thing to remember is that you will need to stop from time to time, and you should be prepared to at a moment’s notice. Sometimes, your ability to stop quickly is all there is between you and a serious collision. Stop at stop signs, yield signs, if necessary, and at lights. Don’t ever go through yellow or red lights, since this could lead to a collision at an intersection. It’s best to err on the side of safety.

To be even more cautious, try not to split lanes with vehicles. While it’s possible for you to pass vehicles that are stopped by filtering through them, it’s better to avoid doing this. Many drivers won’t expect someone to glide by them when they’re stopped, and this could lead to a crash if someone moves forward or makes a sudden turn or move.

The most common bike crash cause is being rear-ended by vehicles attempting to pass. While it’s possible for cyclists to pass to the front of a line of traffic, you might want to reconsider that. Why? If you are going slower than traffic, there is a higher chance of vehicles passing you and potentially causing a rear-end collision.

These are some things to consider when riding in an urban area. Be safe, follow the rules of the road, and be overly cautious to avoid collisions with drivers who may not expect you to be on the roads.

About the Author
Steven Miller, Esq. is the founding member and Senior Partner in Miller, Montiel & Strano, P.C. Mr. Miller’s extensive career as a trial attorney spans five decades. He tries cases for the catastrophically injured victims of construction site accidents, motor vehicle and premises accidents caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Miller is a detail oriented, tenacious attorney committed to achieving the maximum results for his clients; he has obtained numerous seven figure verdicts and settlements.