Surviving Tricky City Traffic and Bike Lanes - Tackform

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Surviving Tricky City Traffic and Bike Lanes

Surviving Tricky City Traffic and Bike Lanes

August 04, 2017

The traffic lights! The jaywalkers! How about those speeding taxis and the UPS trucks blocking the bike lanes?  According to data from the US Department of Transportation, 70% of fatal bicycle crashes occurred in an urban setting. So, what’s a city cyclist to do?

First, step into the shoes of the average motorist. Every city has DMV guidelines regarding the rules of the road. It’s a good idea to review the rules that vehicle drivers must adhere to when encountering a cyclist so that you understand how they view bike riders. On the other hand, do you know the traffic rules for bicyclists and how they must interact with vehicle drivers?   

Never assume that a vehicle driver has your back! Cycle with caution and take precautionary measures before setting off on a city trek, especially at night. Below, are useful tips to keep you safe whenever you’re cycling in the city:

  • Gear up! Wear a carefully chosen helmet on every trip. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute, un-helmeted riders are three times more likely than helmeted ones, to sustain traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash. Since staying visible, especially at night is vital, consider purchasing a helmet with lumen lights that will increase your visibility to motorists. Torch Apparel’s T2 helmet was created to spread light in multiple directions to help keep cyclists visible on all sides of the road.
  • Make Noise! Since many motorists are distracted and not always paying attention, you can’t count on a driver seeing you make a turn or perform some other traffic maneuver. That’s why it is a good idea to equip your bike with a safety option that utilizes sound—a bell or a loud horn.

Loud Bicycle sells a range of bike horns that are as loud as a car horn, including a “Loud Mini” version that easily slips onto standard handlebars via an aluminum attachment. 

  • Make some Crumbs. It is easy to get lost if you are bike riding in a large, unfamiliar city or a part of the city you’ve never visited before. Worse yet, you could get hurt—causing your family or friends to experience extra distress if they don’t know where you are. A free app called Road ID eCrumb offers a feature that allows your contacts to track your bike trip in real time, via an eCrumb (electronic breadcrumbs) sent to them via email or text message. Another great feature is the Lock Screen option---where you store your emergency contact information, medical status, prescription drugs that you are taking and other useful information that a First Responder would need.

Reflective apparel, special safety equipment that keeps you visible, tracking apps, identifying wrist bands or apparel, horns, a cell phone bike mount and other measures will ensure your safety while you enjoy the fascinating sights, sounds, and unique thrill of cycling in the city.

Stay safe, and be sure to check out this useful video before heading off on your next city biking adventure: How to Bike in the City (tips for the bicycle curious)

Additional Resources

Bike for Good and Be Safe


Do you have any city cycling safety tips you’d like to share?

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