Cycling weather is here! Whether you are an experienced cyclist or just bought your first bike, now is the perfect time to brush up on some bike lane basics that will help you get to your destination safely. With that in mind, here are three simple tips to help you start cycling on public roads.
Proper turn signals are one of the most important and most basic things to know about using the bike lane. While many cyclists simply point where they want to go, these signals can be missed or misinterpreted by drivers. Proper turn signals put the cyclists’ hands at the driver’s eye level, making them more likely to understand your intentions.
The three most basic hand signals are:
- Right Turn: Stick right arm straight out
- Left Turn: Stick left arm straight out
- Stop: Left-arm pointed at the ground
Tricky Left Turns
Many new cyclists struggle to make left turns at a busy intersection, partially because it means leaving the bike lane and entering the vehicular turning lane. This is considered an advanced technique, and luckily there is a simple way for new cyclists to make a left-hand turn as they build their confidence.
When coming to a busy intersection, simply pull off and dismount from the bike. Use the crosswalk to walk around the intersection, and then get back on your bike when you complete the turn. While this takes longer, it is considered a much safer way for novice cyclists to turn left.
Finally, keep watch for dotted lines on the bike lane. These sections are usually close to an intersection or a parking lot and indicate that a car can pull into the bike lane. If you aren’t aware of this, you could be caught off guard by a car encroaching on your space.
While being hit by a car is a difficult situation, it’s essential to know what happens next. Make sure you call 911 if you have serious injuries. In either case, always get the driver’s information with the driver and take pictures just as you would after a normal car crash. Once you are safe, you should see a doctor and then consult with an experienced bike accident attorney who can help you plan the next steps.
If you or someone you love were injured in a bike crash, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced attorney from Faraci Lange, LLP, please don’t hesitate to send us an email or call (888) 997-4110.