There are unique safety secrets for cycling in any particular environment. For example, if you frequently go riding in cities, you learn how to follow traffic laws and share the road with motorists and pedestrians. Cycling on rural roads has its own safety challenges. Here’s how to stay safe in these areas.
5 Safety Secrets for Cycling on Rural Roads
- Don’t rely on drivers seeing you: A large portion of drivers on rural roads are just passing through. After hours on the road, many motorists are drowsy and oblivious. Don’t count on drivers noticing you. Instead, avoid riding in the center of your lane, and rely on your own vigilance to prevent an accident.
- Check behind you: Make a habit of looking over your shoulder before every intersection or fork. It’s common for drivers to pass cyclists and then turn into them as they change directions to turn. You can avoid this by checking for cars in any place a driver might take a right turn.
- Don’t ride directly towards the sun: Riding towards the sunset or sunrise makes it extremely difficult for motorists to see you. That makes it far more likely for you to get hit. If possible, take an alternate route that is less direct. If there is no other route, at least be mindful of this potential hazard.
- Tell someone where you’re going: If you are riding through a rural town, try to keep to areas that people will pass through. If you are on a cross country trip, try to always check in with a friend before heading out. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’ve had a cycling accident and nobody knows where you are.
- Watch for oncoming cars: It’s pretty common for cars to pull onto the opposite lane in order to pass a slower vehicle on single-lane rural roads. Often they will do this without looking at what might be in their path. Be vigilant about the possibility of oncoming traffic.
Like any other environment, rural cycling has its own safety challenges. Following these steps and making them into a habits will help you prevent an accident. The road can be dangerous; it’s best to take every possible precaution.
Joshua Bonnici is a San Diego bicycle accident lawyer and cycling enthusiast with a passion for defending victims of bicycle accidents and providing helpful information on bicycle safety.