As I get bolder about biking out on the open road with traffic, I've also been thinking more about safety and being careful out there. I found this site to be a helpful review (moreso than others) if anyone is interested.
Bicycle Safety: How to Not Get Hit by Cars
by Michael Bluejaybicyclesafe.com/
This page shows you real ways you can get hit and real ways to avoid them. This is a far cry from normal bicycle safety guides, which usually tell you little more than to wear your helmet and to follow the law. But consider this for a moment: Wearing a helmet will do absolutely nothing to prevent you from getting hit by a car! Sure, helmets might help you if you get hit, and it's a good idea to wear one, but your #1 goal should be to avoid getting hit in the first place. Plenty of cyclists are killed by cars even though they were wearing helmets.
Ironically, if they had ridden without helmets, yet followed the guidelines listed below, they might still be alive today. Don't confuse wearing a helmet with biking safely. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It's better to not get hit. That's what real bicycle safety is about.
As for following the law, most people are already aware that it's stupid to race through a red light when there's cross traffic, so the "follow the law" advice isn't that helpful because it's too obvious. What you'll find here are several scenarios that maybe AREN'T that obvious.
The other problem with the "follow the law" message is that people may think that's all they need to do. But following the law is not enough to keep you safe, not by a long shot. Here's an example: The law tells you to ride as far to the right as is practicable. But if you ride too far to the right, someone exiting a parked car could open their TIP: The Uninsured Motorist clause on your auto insurance may pay if you're hit & runned while bicycling. Check your policy.
door right in front of you, you'll be less visible to motorists pulling out of driveways and parking lots, and motorists coming from behind may pass you way too closely in the same lane because you didn't make them change lanes. In each of these cases you could have been following the law, but could still have been hit.
Obviously, cruising through a stop sign when there's no cross traffic isn't necessarily dangerous, but we can't recommend that you do so, because it's against the law, not because it's unsafe. You should understand the difference. By all means follow the law, but understand why you're doing so. This page doesn't focus on the law, it focuses on how to not get hit by cars. Now let's see how to do so.
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