Laura offers some good tips relevant to all of us to one degree or another. And as anyone whom I invite to share here she offers a different perspective and tone than you are used to from me.
Thanks for contributing, Laura!
Don’t Ride on the PavementRiding on the pavement may at first seem safer than riding in the street, but it actually isn’t at all. You risk getting hit by vehicles that are backing out of their driveways or swiftly pulling into their driveways without looking. And when it comes to crossing the street, many drivers don’t expect to see bikers in crosswalks, so they often get hit by cars that are making turns. Also, getting onto the pavement on the other side of the street can also be difficult. The best thing to do is to ride with the traffic in the street and obey all traffic laws as if you were driving a car.
Invest in a MirrorIt’s very important that you look behind you before swerving to another side of the road or even to move over just enough to avoid a parked car. Not doing so may result in you getting hit by a car coming up from behind you. If you find it difficult to look behind you without losing your balance on your bike, invest in a mirror instead.
Avoid Riding Into a Car DoorBelieve it or not, a very common accident involves bikers running into a car door accidentally if someone opens their door from a parked position without first checking their side mirrors to see if anyone is coming. The biker may not have enough time to stop when this happens suddenly, so a collision occurs. Luckily, there are ways of avoiding this embarrassing accident.
If you can, ride as far away from parked cars as possible without getting too far out into the lane that you’re in the way of traffic coming up behind you. Try to find a good position where you’re far enough away from the car doors and still far enough away from traffic so that they can move around you with ease.