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What can cyclists do to stop cars from hitting them?

When you see the frequent safety tips offered to cyclists, you might get the impression that it is they who should be doing more to prevent car-bicycle collisions.

The truth is, as a cyclist, there is only so much you can do to stay safe every time you set out on the road. Your fate mostly rests in the hands of two other sets of people:

Town planners

Sure, there are plenty of voices shouting loudly for faster roads to help people get across town faster in their cars. Yet there are also plenty who would like to see roads made slower for cars or more cycle paths added so that people can ride their bikes places without fear of a car killing them. Planning authorities can choose who they listen to and what kind of town they want to create.


They are the ones that will ultimately injure or kill you, so they should be the ones made to feel responsible for taking extra measures to keep cyclists safe. Drivers need to learn to look for cyclists, give them a wide berth, pass them slowly, and look a second time before making any maneuver just in case they missed spotting a cyclist the first time.

They can also need to avoid distractions such as phones or loose pets, leave earlier, so they are not late and in a rush, and use the Dutch Reach to open the car door without knocking someone off their bike.

If a driver injures you while cycling, get legal help to claim compensation. Once you have recovered, you can start thinking about how to influence the town planners.

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