The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its bicycle safety statistics for 2004. (Click Here to view PDF) If you compare numbers, cycling is relatively safe. In 2004, 802 cyclist were killed , 5489 pedestrians were killed, and 38,253 were killed in auto accidents. We believe that 802 cyclists killed are still too many. Here are some riding safety tips by Ryan Snider via LA Bike Coalition.
*Always wear a helmet.
*Always ride in the same direction as traffic.
*Be predictable and ride in a straight line. Do not weave in and out of parked cars
If the lane is wide enough to safely share with cars, ride to the right side. Do not try to share the lane if it is too narrow. Do not ride in broken pavement or debris at the side of the street. Take the center of the lane if necessary.
*Ride far enough in the lane around parked cars so that you will not collide with opening car doors
Here are my tips as a bike commuter:
*Plan and ride the safest route, even if its longer. Think of it as more ‘training’ time.
*Use a rear view mirror. I know its geeky, but it can save your butt.
*Ride the sidewalk if its too risky to ride on the street. It is legal in most places.
*Don’t get into any altercation with a driver. They do have the bigger vehicle.
*Make eye contact with drivers coming out of a driveway or making a turn in front of you. For some reason you become invisible and they can see thru you. I usually whistle or wave to make sure I have their attention.
*When riding along side vehicles, check to see if they are occupied. Chances are they will open the door in front of you.
*Most important, stay FOCUSED. I had a few close calls because my mind started to wander.