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Riding in Salt Lake
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Riding in Salt Lake

Wear a helmet whenever you ride a bike - okay, that's been said. Now, don't think for one moment that wearing a helmet will keep you from getting hit by a car. A helmet will protect you if you get hit, or if another type of accident puts you in contact with something solid, but it won't keep you from getting hit.

There are many web sites that discuss how to be safe on the road.

Now for my personal commentary:

The root of safety in traffic, whether for cars or bicycles, lies in predictability. We drive through green lights because we can reasonably predict that cars facing a red light will be stopped. When cyclists don't follow predictable behavior (from the perspective of a driver) then they're setting themselves up for trouble. Ride predictably.

Follow traffic laws. I'm often surprised at how many cyclists want drivers to follow all the rules, but then break them themselves. Cyclists that break laws make us all look bad, and make riding less safe for all of us.

Make eye contact with drivers. I notice again and again that when I make eye contact with a driver, I'm acknowledged and they are much more respectful of my place on the road.

Signal your intentions to others. Most drivers are happy to yield a lane to you so that you can ride around some glass on the shoulder, but you have to let them know what you are going to do ahead of time. But remember, they probably can't hear you when you talk.