Top 5 Situations to Avoid When Cycling -

Top 5 Situations to Avoid When Cycling

Riding your bike can be a relaxing and rewarding experience. You want to keep it that way by avoiding 5 of the most common bicycling mistakes that can quickly take the fun out of bicycling. So, learn from these common situations that bicyclers need to avoid so your time on the road continues to be a pleasant experience.

  1. The Door Collision

This common scenario is perfectly avoidable. Be aware of your surroundings, particularly parked vehicles. Enjoy the beautiful day, but be sure to allow yourself enough room to avoid a car door before it’s opened and surprises you. Be proactive and just assume each parked car has a driver in it and can open the door at any moment. If you can ride your bicycle and predict the things that may happen, it’s one step towards avoiding them. When riding along parked cars, reach your hand out and see if you can touch the side-mirror of the parked car. If you can, you’re too close.

  1. The Right Cross

You’re enjoying your daily ride, when suddenly, a car comes from your right, perhaps from a cross street or a driveway. The problem is, you may not have enough time to swerve and avoid a collision. This is the most common cause of bicycle accidents with vehicles. It’s also one of the hardest ones to avoid. But, there are a few steps you can take to increase your reaction time or minimize the damage.

Firstly, if you’re riding in an area where this is most likely to happen, ride at a slower pace. This will actually increase your reaction time. You also want to ride more to the left from the curb and allow yourself more room. When riding at night, always remember to ride your headlight on.


  1. The Left Hook

The left hook is just as problematic as the right cross. This occurs when a vehicle fails to yield to a cyclist in the opposite lane when turning left. This can cause the vehicle to hit a cyclist. Often, a motorist doesn’t even see the cyclist. The problem is that motorist’s brains aren’t wired to see smaller objects and are looking more for vehicles.

You can increase your chances of being spotted by using hand signals, even waving. But, just prepare for the scenario and assume a motorist isn’t going to see you. Slow down when you anticipate the scenario and just let the driver through and allow them to complete their turn. Wearing a reflective vest and leg band may also increase your visibility. You also want to think twice about passing vehicles going slower than you on the right. A left-turning motorist is not likely to see you. It bears mentioning again that you should always use a headlight at night when riding.

  1. The Rear End Collision

This one goes back to avoiding parked cars or other things on the road. Your reaction is often to swerve to the left. The problem with this is that the motorist behind you may hit your bicycle because they’re not expecting this move.

Once again, part of the solution goes back to being aware of your surroundings and riding more to the left, away from the curb. You also want to check your mirror often to see what’s behind you. When you know a motorist is behind you or in front of you, you should signal to alert the other drivers of your intentions. Hand signals can’t be overstressed. Vehicles use blinkers to let drivers know what they plan to do. Bicyclists harbor the same responsibilities to help ensure their safety.

  1. Avoiding Pedestrians

Pedestrians are even more unpredictable than motorists so you need to be even more aware of them when riding your bicycle. When a pedestrian crosses a road, you’re bound by law to stop if they’re crossing legally. Even if they’re not following the law, you still want to avoid hitting them. The last thing you want to do is to try and rush ahead of them.

On a bicycle lane, you have the right-of-way, but pedestrians aren’t always aware of this. Once again, the point is to always be aware of your surroundings and yield when necessary to avoid a collision. If you choose to ride on the sidewalk, you should also yield to pedestrians who may be walking there.

Enjoy Your Bicycling and Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It pays to remind you that you should always wear a helmet before you set out on the road to enjoy your cycling ventures. But, the key to not getting hurt is to avoid the most common bicycle situations and mistakes in the first place. Be aware of your surroundings and yield when you need to. After all, you want to enjoy many more cycling days ahead.


This article was provided by, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally.