Road Safety 101 for Bicyclists

Concerned about your safety when biking on the road? Here are some tips on what you can do to be safer on the road as a bicyclist.

Bicycle safety tips:

  • Always consider your lane position. The best place to be in the lane is at least three feet away from any parked cars so that you are outside the “door zone” where car doors might open into the lane.
  • Maintain a consistent lane position and avoid weaving. Drivers behind you will appreciate your predictability of riding in a straight line.
  • Get comfortable taking one hand off of the handle bars so you can easily use turn signals.
    • Right turn signal - either hold your right arm out, or hold your left arm up, with bent elbow. You don’t have to keep your arm out through the turn – you may need both hands on the handlebars to keep control of the bicycle
    • Left turn signal - left hand straight out
    • Brake signal - left hand pointed down bent at the elbow at a 45 degree angle
  • Most of the road users in the Portland metro area are considerate people, so when you give them advanced notice of where you’re going, they’ll give you plenty of space to do what you need.
  • Use eye contact whenever possible. When you can make eye contact with drivers you know that they see you. You can also use eye contact to determine where the blind spots are with larger vehicles. When approaching a large vehicle, make eye contact with the driver in the rear view mirror to make sure that they see you are there.

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