Sometimes being a bike commuter can be dangerous. Let’s face it, there are all sorts of obstacles out there when you start riding your bike outside, and this is especially true it seems when you’re out there at rush hour with your car-driving counterparts.
Not all drivers are dumb, of course, but there are plenty out there that make bike commuters cringe. The trick is to minimize your interaction with them if at all possible.
Here are some ways you can be smart bike commuter in a world full of idiotic drivers.
Heaven only knows that many drivers are too distracted to even pay attention to what is going on around them. When that’s the case, it’s extra important that you as a bike commuter pay attention to what is happening. Notice the cars coming up in front of you or coming down side streets. Look at the drivers in the eye. The more you pay attention to the vehicles around you, the safer you’ll be.
Anticipate but Don’t Assume
As you pay close attention to the cars around you, it makes sense to anticipate what drivers might do and prepare yourself accordingly. If you’re coming up on a four-way stop, for example, and you get to the intersection just before a car on your right does, anticipate that they will try and go before you do. Don’t assume that people will obey the law and treat you just like another car on the road. Doing that could get you seriously killed or injured.
The best defense against bad drivers is to ride as often as you can. The more you can commute to your destination by bike, the better you’ll be able to understand the drivers in your area and their general behaviors on your route. This will give you more confidence on the road when dealing with less-than-ideal situations and will help you recognize when things aren’t going the way they normally should so you can act accordingly.