Biking in busy cities like Las Vegas is very different from biking on park trails or even in a small town. Traveling by bike can be a great way to get outside, get exercise and be environmentally conscious, but it’s important to know how to safely bike in traffic.
- Stay on the street – In busy cities, like Las Vegas, it can be tempting to ride your bike on the sidewalk and forgo traffic. However, it’s safest for you and pedestrians to stay on the street.
- Don’t get too close to cars – Cars are required to give you at least three feet of space on the road. However, it’s best to watch your own distance when biking in traffic to keep yourself safe rather than relying on drivers.
- Watch for opening doors – “Dooring” is the most common accident for bikers. As you bike near cars parked along the street, be careful of drivers who open their doors without looking for you.
- Know when cars can’t see you – As a general rule of thumb, assume that drivers either aren’t looking or can’t see you. If you can’t see a driver in their side mirrors, they can’t see you. Be especially careful around big vehicles like commercial trucks with large blind spots.
- Don’t wear headphones – Stay aware of your surroundings while biking in traffic. This includes not wearing headphones that will keep you from hearing sirens or honking.
- Plan your route – There will almost always be traffic in Vegas. Planning your route so that you can bike on less busy roads can make riding easier and safer.
- Wear the right clothes – Clothing can help drivers see you. Stick to bright clothing, reflective pieces at night and a helmet.
- Don’t bike under the influence – Just like driving, biking under the influence is dangerous. Though it’s only illegal for cars and motorcycles, it’s best not to risk an accident.
Biking can be a healthy transportation choice for both you and the environment. If you decide to replace your commute with bicycling, remember that there are extra safety precautions to be aware of.