If there is a collision with a car, truck or wall, you as a cyclist are guaranteed to come out as a loser. The most important safety precaution you can take when riding a bicycle is avoiding collisions. This requires a proactive position: decide that it is your job to protect yourself.
Here are some tips and tactics from experienced riders:
Make yourself and your bike clearly visible. Your bicycle should always have a headlight, preferably one with an LED (Light Emitting Diode) light source and flashing red tail light. Wear a reflective vest and brightly colored clothing to increase your visibility. Always drive your bicycle on the bike marking surface.
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Your helmet must be white or light. The dark helmet is not visible at night. Have a loud horn and don't be shy about using it. Use a handlebar or mirror on the helmet. Check-in often. You can't avoid it if you don't know it's behind you.
Always drive with the traffic on the right. Obey all traffic rules. Stop signs and red lights. Cyclists must obey the same road traffic rules as other vehicles, including obeying road signs, signals and lane markings.
Stay away from the busiest streets. A route that works while you are in the car can be disastrous when you are cycling. Plan ahead and find alternative routes with less traffic.
Stay away from the curb so you won't be run over if someone in a parked car opens the left door on the street.