Coexisting with Cars

Riding a bicycle on the street can leave a rider feeling exposed and vulnerable.  Abiding these 10 safety tips can help keep you safe.

While all of these tips are good advice, I would highlight Tips 3 and 4 for safety in the moment and Tip 10 for long-term safety.

Tip #3 - Assume drivers don't see you... and help them see you.
3a: People driving cars don't always see people riding bicycles, even when they are perfectly visible, because our brains are predisposed to noticing elements we expect to see on the road. Not surprisingly, therefore, this "invisibility" is worst in communities with low numbers of bike commuters. The good news here is that, as more people ride their bikes in Little Rock, bicycles will become more visible to people behind the wheel and bicycling will be safer because of it.

3b: Make yourself more visible. Ride with bright flashing front and rear lights - even during the day. Wear bright colored, reflective clothes and install reflectors on your bike.

Tip #4: Be Predictable. People driving cars will usually make every effort to avoid a crash, but when you ride erratically, they don't know how to avoid you. Follow the traffic laws of a motor vehicle and make intuitive hand signals to let drivers know your intentions.

Tip #10: You have every right to ride on the road with traffic, but drivers who do not ride their bikes on the road may be annoyed that you may slow them down or overly nervous that they might hit you. The best way to address this in the long run may be to highlight your humanity. Make eye contact. Wave. Don't scare them by acting unpredictable.

Safe riding!