I commute to work on my bike, and there are some really busy roads that do not have much room to ride alongside cars. What can I do to avoid being in a Washington, DC biking accident?

While most avid bikers have heard time and time again that they are supposed to ride as far to the right as possible, this is not always the safest way to ride, especially on busy surface streets. By riding very close to the curb, you risk not being seen by cars that are turning onto the road that you are travelling on. You also risk cars trying to pass you too closely when there may not be enough room to pass safely, or even getting “doored” by cars parked on the curb.

So, what is the safest, suitable alternative for avoiding a DC bicycle accident on these tightly packed streets? The answer may surprise you. Taking up the full lane can fix many of the problems that you are concerned about. Cars will be unable to pass you, so while it is not a perfect solution to adopt permanently, in certain blocks where things get bottlenecked, it can keep everyone safer.

By riding in the middle of the lane, you also become more visible to the cars that are entering the road from side streets. Think about it—when you are driving, you look for traffic that is travelling within the lane, and most of us have almost missed spotting a bicycle before we are about to turn.

There is no one, proven method to staying safe, especially as a commuter on your bicycle. You are travelling during times of heavy traffic, and people may not be paying full attention to smaller vehicles on the road.

Using a full arsenal of tips to stay visible will be your best bet, but if you ever become injured, there are people you can call to make sure that your rights are protected. The Bethesda bicycle accident injury attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins are available to talk to you about your injuries today—call at 202.296.0666.

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