Biking Safe: A Guide for Portland’s Cycling Scene


Whether you’re a newcomer to Portland, Oregon or you’ve lived in this city for a while, you have good reason to pick up a bike. As one of the country’s biggest bike-friendly cities, there is good reason for anybody to get back in the saddle and learn to love biking. It’s fun, invigorating, a great form of exercise, and has tremendous environmental benefits.

However, it’s important to note that any cyclist should be aware of the fact that they share the fact with much bigger – and much more aggressive – cars, trucks and motorcycles. Biking more often means it is well worth the time and effort to learn how to bike safely. Consider some of these tips from Bicycle Safe to help prevent some of the more common accidents on the road.

Get a Bike Headlight

Anybody who plans to go cycling at night would be well off investing in a bicycle headlight. This improves visibility and is especially essential for avoiding accidents at intersections and crosswalks, where a cyclist’s visibility is especially compromised. This is a minor investment, and a bike headlight can easily be installed by a cyclist on his own or in minutes at a bike shop. A bike horn or bell is another sound investment that will also help to improve a cyclist’s ability to be noticed on the road.

Ride Further Left

It may be a little intimidating to ride to the left – after all, doesn’t that put you in the way of oncoming traffic? – but riding to the left prevents many common types of bike accidents. For example, riding to the left can help prevent a cyclist from slamming into a door that suddenly opens from a parked car on the side of a road.

Be Aware of Blind Spots

You learned all about vehicle blind spots in driver’s education (if you learned how to drive), but understanding vehicle blind spots is even more crucial as a cyclist. The amount of space that you take up as a cyclist is incredibly small, and there is a very large window of space in which drivers simply cannot see you. Play it safe when riding near vehicles as well as when stopped near vehicles that may begin moving again at a moment’s notice, and if at all possible, stay out of vehicles’ blind spots.

Signal Your Turns

People get angry at drivers who don’t signal their intent to turn with their blinkers. Cyclists who don’t signal their intent to turn may be just as thoughtless. Using your arms to indicate when you are about to turn ensures that you don’t take drivers by surprise and will help ensure that there is less potential of a mishap on the road.

What to Do if an Accident Occurs

Unfortunately, accidents happen. Whether the accident was your fault or not, one of the most important things that you can do is to have a personal injury attorney on your side from the very beginning to ensure that everything goes your way in the months that follow. Choosing a personal injury attorney is a serious matter, as the experts at Nelson Macneil Rayfield in Portland, Albany and Corvallis attest, so be sure you go into the process having done your research.

Once you have a personal injury attorney on your side, be sure you have gathered all the necessary information regarding the accident and that you relay this information to your personal injury attorney so that they can proceed accordingly. An accident doesn’t have to stop you from getting out on the road, nor does it have to be a great source of stress if you have someone on your side that can help you out. Just do your research and find someone who can help you through the process.