This happens too often. There are only a few places one can ride where this is not a big risk.

Here are a few riding tips that are also valuable for car drivers.

First, make yourself visible. If you ride too close behind cars in front of you, the car is now a shield. It protects you from view. You are hidden and don’t exist. Once that car clears the intersection any car trying to cross the street can hit the gas and go, running right into the bike “that came out of nowhere” because you did.

Increase your following distance. Constantly move your eyes side to side, scanning for activity. When you see a car on a side street to your right, move your bike to the far right side of the road, to become more visible.
When you see a car on the left, move to the left side of the lane, also to become more visible behind the car in front of you.

If there are no cars in front of you, move away from the car you are approaching to give them room for an impulse movement. This also can give you time for evasive action.

Practice hard braking and do it often. The old “I had to lay it down to stop” is balderdash, bullfeathers and poppycock. Plastic and metal doesn’t have any real grip on pavement compared to rubber tires. Practice will help you learn how much front brake you can use. It’s probably more than you think. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) will pulsate to let you know you’re on the brakes just a little too hard. Normally this may be the rears.

Learn to ride by following your eyes. Wherever you look, that’s where your bike (or car) will go. When you see an obstacle, DON’T LOOK AT IT. Start looking for your exit or avoidance strategy. You must practice this every time you ride. Becoming skilled at this will save your life. This, combined with expertise on the brakes are vital skills.

Happy Riding and Driving.

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