Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Safety Tip: How to Avoid the Right Cross

Here's the question for Loudoun County commuters and bikers...A car is pulling out of a side street, parking lot, or driveway on your right. QUICK! How do you avoid a crash?

Here's the answer, courtesy of the Sharing the Road in Virginia website.

1. Honk. Get a horn and use it when you see a car approaching or waiting to the right. If you don't have a horn, yell "Hey!" or "Bike coming!"

2. Slow down. If you can't make eye contact with the driver, slow down so that you're able to stop if you have to.

3. Ride further left. You're probably used to riding close to the curb, but the farther left you ride the more likely a driver will see you, and the more reaction time you and the driver will have. If the motorist doesn't see you and starts pulling out, go farther left. If you're too far along to avoid the vehicle, speed up and get out of the way. But note that riding to the left makes you more vulnerable to cars behind you and this may not be smart in all instances.

4. Ride Prepared! Get a headlight. If riding at night, a headlight is required by law. Even for daytime riding, a bright white light in flashing mode can make you more visible to motorists. Look for LED headlights, which last much longer. Helmet- or head-mounted lights are the best, because when you can look directly at the driver, your light shines on him.

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