How to cycle properly through intersections is one of the most important cycling safety tips. This is because intersections are where most collisions involving cyclists happen. So whenever you enter or leave an intersection, you must be alert at all times.
Residential areas often have mini intersections where alleys and driveways enter streets. Stay at least three feet from curbs in residential areas so you can see drivers entering the road, and they see you as well.
Since the bicycle is a vulnerable vehicle, you should always obey traffic signs and stop signs to stay safe.
Going Straight Through an Intersection
If you are going straight through an intersection, do not use the right turn lane. See to it that drivers can see you at all times. Watch for turning vehicles. Remember that other drivers may turn without signaling so you have to watch for signs like turned wheels or vehicles slowing down.
Making a Right Turn
- When you are executing a right turn, merge into the right hand lane.
- Look over your shoulder for other turning vehicles.
- Signal with your hand. (Click here to learn proper hand signals for cyclists).
- Scan the intersection for pedestrians and then cycle forward when the path is clear.
5 Steps When Cycling Through Intersections
Making a Left Turn
The same steps apply when you are executing a left turn.
- Merge into the center of the left hand lane.
- Signal properly.
- Scan the intersection.
- Proceed when it’s safe.
Remember that not all roads have a bike lane so you have to watch for signs showing the end or beginning of a bike lane. Remember to look over their shoulders and check when entering or leaving a bike lane and merge safety. Drivers and cyclists should be respectful with each other and share the road.
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Watch this video to learn more cycling safety tips and how to cycle safely through intersections.