Cyclists are faced with all kinds of safety decisions when they ride their bikes on the road. There are some situations where the rules might be a little confusing and you might not be certain of exactly what you should be doing. Roundabout bicycle safety is one such situation. Check out our tips below to find out the best ways to easily negotiate a roundabout on your bicycle and keep yourself safe.
Before you enter a roundabout you should make sure that you’ve taken all steps to ensure you can easily be seen. Multilane roundabouts are particularly difficult to navigate if you’re not confident on your bicycle.
There are two ways to tackle a roundabout when you come across one. Which choice you make will most likely depend on how experienced you are as a cyclist.
Your first option is to use the roundabout as though you were a pedestrian. In this case you should dismount and use the pedestrian areas to get through the roundabout. Once you are wheeling your bike, you can use the sidewalk and move around via the crosswalks, just like a pedestrian would. If there is an island you can easily break up your crossing of the street into two sections.
Being on foot means you move a lot slower and don’t risk a moment of inattention which causes you to whiz through a roundabout without checking for traffic.
The second option is to continue riding on the roadway as you normally would, using the road rules that apply to all traffic, including bicycles. Choose your lane and ride right in the middle so you can easily be seen. Be extra vigilant as you move through the roundabout. Make sure you give way appropriately and ride as though you expect the worst.
Constantly checking for cars (or worse, trucks!) means that you will identify motorists who haven’t seen you in time. When you ride defensively you give yourself plenty of time to take evasive action or to stop completely if you are in danger of a collision. Keeping your speed down on a roundabout will serve you well.
Never change lanes in the middle of the intersection. You also should not overtake other vehicles or cyclists in the intersection. Be patient and save your overtaking for when you have safely exited the roundabout.
If you are close to a truck who is also accessing the roundabout you should give it a very wide berth. Large trucks have reduced visibility and it’s really easy for you to find yourself in a blind spot. Trucks often need more than one lane to make a turn safely. Riding into, or stopping in, the space they will use to make their turn is a recipe for disaster and you should make sure you never do it.
Make sure you clearly signal your intentions when turning and exiting the roundabout. Once you are safely out of the intersection you should move to the bike lane as soon as you can and continue safely on your journey.
Should you have an accident on a roundabout be sure to contact us immediately for advice. Get the Bicycle Accident Assistant app on your smartphone so you’re prepared, just in case.