Friday, November 25, 2005

Safe Cycling Tip #2

Tip #2: Cars can be your friend

Yep, believe it or not, sometimes the presence of car can (imho) make your riding safer. People are always looking out for themselves, so someone in a car won't do something to jeopardize their safety. Furthermore, drivers tend to respond to other cars. When you are driving, you are looking for that shape, not necessarily that of a bike.

So, how can you use this to your advantage? Imagine you're riding down the side of a road and a car is about to pull out of a driveway in front of you. Chances are if there is car somewhere near you on the left, the person in the driveway will see you and not pull out.

Another example: Sometimes I cross a pedestrian crosswalk on the left side of a busy road. The crosswalk goes "green" just after the left turn lane (two very busy left turn lanes in this case) clears (the cars turning left are going through the crosswalk I'm about to use). During rush hour I see people regularly running this left turn light. If you aren't carefull entering the crosswalk you could easily get clipped by someone running the light. This is another case where cars can be your friend. When the crosswalk signal goes, the left turn is red and the cars coming at you have a green light. Those cars will never go if someone is running the left turn light or in the middle of the intersection. Watching the behavior of these cars has saved me more than once.

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