Riding your bicycle is good for your health and the environment, it can even be fun! However, aside from all of this it can be very dangerous if you don’t take the rules of the road into effect. Every single year aroundhalf of a billion people are injured while riding a bike. This number would be a lot lower if bicyclists were more aware of what they were doing, while other drivers understood how bicyclists use the road.
In this article we’re going to cover the bicyclists perspective and what you need to do in order to stay safe. Having an understanding of how a bicyclist communicates with other bicyclists, other drivers and pedestrians will go a long way towards minimizing the amount of accidents that occur each year.
A bicycle should be looked at, just as any other vehicle. You should take the time understand the varying rules that come with riding a bicycle safely, just as you would a car or motorcycle.
What do hand signals communicate?
Hand signals are the main way that a bicyclist will communicate their intentions with others. For instance, they will normally use their left hand to signal the direction they are intending on heading.
If their arm is pointed out straight from their body, then that means they will be making a left turn. When the arm is pointed up 90 degrees from the elbow then this means that they will be making a right turn.
When a bicyclist is slowing down they will point their arm down towards the ground at a 90 degree angle.
These hand signals should be used in the same manner that a car uses their turn signals and brake lights. As a bike rider it’s very important to have an understanding of how these work and what they communicate. If you’re having a hard time figuring out which one means what then it can help to practice before you hit the road.
What else do I need to know as a bike rider?
It’s important to remember that most accidents occur because a driver isn’t aware of where the bicyclist is on the road. That’s why it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings, especially of the location of other drivers on the road. Try to keep a safe distance whenever you can and make sure that you never dart out suddenly in front of cars.
Another thing to keep in mind is to wear bright clothing and other reflective materials once it gets dark. This will make it easier for other drivers to see you and help you get home safe.
Lastly, for your own safety make sure that you always wear a helmet. Wearning a helmet is the best thing you can do to guarantee your safety on a bike, and protect yourself from any head or neck injuries.
I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better understanding of how you can stay safe on the road by communicating your intentions clearly.
Zane Schwarzlose writes for, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane thinks that biking is scary.