With bike lanes on almost every road downtown and the addition of the War Eagle Bike Share throughout the Auburn University campus and around the City, Auburn has become a great place to commute via bicycle. There are many benefits that come with an increase of using bicycles to get around, including limiting pollution, leaving more available parking downtown and giving residents extra time to enjoy the outdoors. Keep your focus forward and follow these tips while sharing the road to be a responsible and safe bicyclist.
Texting while biking is one of the most dangerous distractions because it falls under all three types of distractions – visual, manual and cognitive. This includes reading a text message on your phone or smart watch. According to News-Press, looking at your device instead of where you are going, even if it’s the same path you take every day, is how people crash into telephone poles, fall off piers and into holes and collide with people or other traffic.
It is not uncommon to hear of people being hit by trains or emergency vehicles because they could not hear or see the warning sounds coming. To prevent these types of bicycle accidents from happening, keep your phone and headphones in a backpack or purse until you reach your final destination. If you have a smart watch or any other notification device, set your phone on sleep mode or keep it on silent until you reach your destination.
A common mistake bicyclists make is not knowing how to share the road. Every city has their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to bicycles, so the best way to be a safe and responsible bicyclist is to be an informed one. If you fail to follow the rules of the road and cause an accident, you could be found at fault. The City of Auburn posts bicycle rules and regulations on their website.
Being aware of one’s surroundings is arguably more important for bicyclists than it is for drivers because it is easier for a bicycle to see a car than the other way around. Pay attention to the cars around you and try to anticipate their actions at a light or intersection. When possible, give a wide berth to parked cars where car doors may swing open or for cars that may be trying to merge back into traffic. Planning ahead and staying aware of where others are going will help minimize collisions and get everyone to their final destination safely.
It only takes a few simple steps of putting distractions away, knowing the rules of the road and being aware of other commuters around you for bicyclists to avoid being at fault for an accident. The road is big enough for everyone – focus forward and remember to share it. Learn more Focus Forward tips here.