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Share the Road -- with Cars

No one sets off on a leisurely -- or rigorous -- bike ride intending to get into an accident, particularly one involving an automobile.

The most frequently occurring bicycle/motor vehicular accidents happen when a bicycle is either in front of a car and that car hits the rider, or when a car pulls out in front of a rider and the rider slams into the car. (And wearing a helmet won't prevent a bicyclist from getting hit by a car.)

Here are some simple ways to avoid common and potentially dangerous collisions with automobiles.

* Use a headlight: When cycling at night, riders should always use headlights, either mounted on a helmet or on the bicycle itself. But, like automobiles that employ daytime running lights, illumination when the sun is out can prove very helpful aiding other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to see you, so it can't hurt to use a headlight even when the sun is out.

* Make noise: Clowns might use big red horns on their teeny tricycles, but bicycle-riders who ride in congested areas are well served by some aural aid. If you don't have a horn, don't be afraid to yell out and make yourself heard. It beats getting hit.

* Slow down: The slower you go, the more likely you are to make eye contact with a driver, particularly at night.

For more information about bicycle safety, go to bicyclinginfo.org .

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