No matter how some drivers resent it, summer is the time of bicyclists. Even if you have a car, you may want to take your bike out for a ride periodically, or even switch over to bicycle transport entirely. If you’re going to be on your bike a lot this summer, follow these bicycle safety rules to keep yourself and others safe.
Before you go out on your bike, check it for mechanical problems. Underinflated tires, faulty brakes, and tangled chains are all things that can make you fall or even run into a car or another bicyclist. Make sure you know the traffic laws and how bicycling relates to them. Mostly, you’ll just be following regular traffic laws, so always signal before turning, stop at stop signs, and stay in the far right lane.
The key to being a safe bicyclist is being predictable, and following traffic laws is part of that. It’s also about making what you intend to do next obvious to the people around you with hand signals and looks.
With spring comes showers, and driving in the rain can be a nerve-wracking, especially when you hydroplane. Here’s what to do in case you start to hydroplane.
- Remain calm – The worst thing you could do if you hydroplane is panic. Take a deep breath and tackle the situation calmly.
- Do not brake or accelerate suddenly – Since hydroplaning is a loss of traction to the front tires, sudden braking will lock only the rear tires, which will cause a spinout. Sudden acceleration could pull the vehicle straight ahead, which could be dangerous.
- Look for an open space – Find an open and clear space to direct your car toward.
- Lightly accelerate – Stay lightly on your accelerator and gently guide your car to the open space you identified until it gains its traction back.
To avoid hydroplaning in general, don’t use cruise control in heavy rains because of its tendency toward sudden acceleration. Also make sure that your tires are in good shape. The better your tire tread is, the better it will grip the road in rainy weather. Make sure to drive slower in the rain!