Safety is important when riding your bike. I've read countless Internet comments by experts on this topic and have compiled, for your convenience, a list of all the necessary safety precautions that one should take when operating a bicycle on roadways.
Keep in mind that your safety is entirely your responsibility. There's literally no way for someone to harm you in a way that is not your fault. Remember: You chose to ride a bicycle.
You must do everything on this list to prevent causing a motorist to strike you with their car. If you do not do all of these things then it will be your fault for the traffic slowdowns, and possible (but let's be honest, unlikely) guilt the motorist could feel when it happens. You may suffer some injury yourself, as well.
Also, rest assured that if you forget to do any of the things in this list then any news articles about the car accidentally hitting you will be sure to document each item that you forgot. The purpose of that will be to ensure other cyclists know the complete list and to ensure that motorists reading the article know that it is not their responsibility to pay attention to other road users.
- Wear a helmet!
- Wear bright high vis clothing
- Do not ride on narrow roads
- Do not ride on big roads with multiple lanes
- Have a front reflector
- Have a rear reflector
- Use a bright front light
- Use a bright rear light on your bike that is visible in daylight
- Use multiple front and rear lights
- Do not use a blindingly bright rear light at night
- Attach a reflective safety triangle to your back
- Ride on the outside edge of the lane
- Take the lane
- Stay in the bike lane
- If you see a sharrow then ride directly over it
- Remember that sharrows mean you should get out of the way of cars
- If a motorist honks at you then you should get off of the road and think about what you've done
- Do not ride at night
- Do night ride with the sun setting and facing you
- Do not ride in inclement weather
- Do not ride without having verified there are no cuts or rips in your tires
- Do not ride with suboptimal tire pressure for your given application
- Do not ride without having done a thorough safety check of your bike's components
- Do not ride in high winds
- Do not ride without water, nutrition, GPS/cellphone, repair items (tube, patch, pump, etc)