As a cyclist, you are well aware of the size difference between your bike and the cars and trucks you are expected to share the road with. You feel very exposed, knowing that any mistake a driver makes could cost you your life — or at least put you in the hospital with serious injuries.

That is true; you do face serious risks on the road. However, there are also steps you can take to reduce the risks and avoid accidents. For instance:

  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Do not assume that they see you.
  • If the driver hasn’t looked at you, consider waving your arm to get their attention.
  • Wear bright colors, like lime green or orange.
  • Put a headlight on your bike. Even during the day, a bright flashing light makes you far more visible.
  • Couple that headlight with a rear light that also has a flashing mode.
  • Be wary of people getting out of cars and opening their doors into your path; stay on the left side of the bike lane.
  • Always ride in the right places: Going with traffic, staying off of the sidewalk and riding where drivers expect you to ride.
  • Don’t wear headphones. The more you can hear what is happening around you, the better.

You can reduce the risks and stay safer by using these tips. However, you also already know that nothing is perfect. Nothing protects you completely when drivers make mistakes. If someone hits you and puts you in the hospital, you may need to seek financial compensation for your medical bills and related costs.