More than two thirds of all bike/car crashes happen at intersections. As a bicyclist, it’s critical to know what you can do to stay visible, predictable and safe when approaching, navigating and leaving an intersection, whether you turn or go straight through.
1. When approaching an intersection, ride in the center of the rightmost lane that will take you the direction you want to go—right lane for turning right, left lane for turning left, etc.
2. Check behind you, then use hand signals to indicate that you are changing lanes or turning.
3. Make eye contact with drivers around you to ensure that they have noticed you—communication is key!
4. When stopped at an intersection, do so in the center of the lane—either in front of or behind a car—to ensure that you are seen by the driver. Don’t wait off to the side, where they may not be looking.
5. Drivers are often unable to estimate the speed of bikes and think they have enough time to make a turn. Keep an eye on drivers traveling in the opposite lane and turning left across your path.
This is just one tip for safer cycling, but the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is a wellspring of more useful information. Make them your go-to resource for safety tips, bike classes, events and more at waba.org.