Being involved in a bicycle accident can be incredibly detrimental to your health, especially if a collision happens at high speeds. Even a vehicle traveling at low speeds or a car door stopping you at full bore can cause severe injuries if you are not prepared.
Lafayette has developed a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving policies and infrastructure to support safe bicycling. Understanding how to protect yourself and avoid common collisions can help you ride in peace on Lafayette roads.
Wave at other drivers
When you are unable to make eye contact with a vehicle driver, waving your arm will help alert them to your presence. Installing a horn can also be useful if you often ride on busy streets, and do not be afraid to yell if you suspect a driver is going to pull out without seeing you.
Remain visible especially at night
Riding a bike at night can be more dangerous if you do not wear reflective gear. Get a headlight and a rear reflector to be sure drivers can see you.
Ride further to the left
While you probably prefer to ride as far to the right as possible, moving a little to the left in the road actually helps drivers who are pulling out of a driveway to see you. You may think that someone would hit you from behind if you suddenly moved to the left to avoid a collision. However, it is actually more likely for a collision to occur with someone in front of you who cannot see you than with a driver who can clearly see you riding in front. Riding to the left can help you to avoid hitting someone’s driver-side door.
Know the laws
Follow the laws set forth by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for bicyclists, such as hand signaling, following the same traffic laws vehicles follow and using the right-most lanes. While you may not be able to avoid all accidents, you can improve your odds of avoiding one.