Now that summer is in full swing in the Billings area, you may be spending more time cycling down the rural roads and enjoying the scenery. However, as with riding down any road, it is important to always be on guard and watch for cars. In fact, it is typically best to never trust a motorist to put your safety first.
Unfortunately, the country roads that crisscross the state generally do not come with bike lanes. In some cases, they have an almost non-existent shoulder to put a buffer area between you and the cars and trucks traveling through the area. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or training for your first race, it is important to brush up on safety tips in order to decrease your chances of becoming involved in an accident.
Assume that you are invisible
Even though you might wear the brightest colors you can find and you always turn on your front and rear lights, one of the best things you can do is to assume that car and truck drivers do not see you. As you ride, always have a plan in place to dodge other vehicles and even wildlife.
Keep your eyes peeled
As much as you probably prefer to ride with your favorite motivational playlist pumping through your earbuds, it is really safer to keep both your eyes and your ears open for vehicles approaching from the rear. The is especially important as you approach intersections and property entrances. Those drivers mentioned above, the ones that won’t see you, could very easily pass you by and take a sudden right turn across your path. The could cause you to T-bone the vehicle.
Don’t ride off into the sunset
As much as you can, try to avoid riding directly into the setting sun. Instead, keep it at your back so that you are more visible to motorists and so that they are more visible to you. However, keep in mind that the vehicles coming toward you will not be able to see you easily, but since you never expect to be seen anyway, you should always be calculating an escape route.
Choose your rest spot wisely
If you need to stop for a break during a long ride, be sure to choose a place with high visibility. For example, be sure you have put enough distance between yourself and a blind corner or a hillcrest before you stop.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, keep in mind that you may have options. You might be able to file a claim for your injuries and other damages and win the compensation you deserve.