Shasta County, Calif. - Although bicycling is great exercise, it can be very dangerous if you aren't careful of traffic. If you ask any bicyclist you can hear horror stories of run ins with cars.
These accidents can be especially dangerous when the speeds of the cars increase. On the rural highways in California bicyclists are especially vulnerable to cars.
These dangers have been highlighted with the recent fatal crash on Highway 89 near Lassen Park. But there are a few simple steps you can take to maximize your visibility and minimize your chances of being hit.
The first is be aware of your surroundings and where the cars are at all times. A lot of times the cars simply don't see the cyclists until its too late.
Also be sure to obey all traffic laws while cycling. Running red lights and stop signs can open the door to injuries if cross traffic does not have to stop. When turning corners or riding on cross walks be especially careful, drivers often don't see the cyclists moving into the intersection even if the cyclists have the right of way.
If you are riding at night it is very important to make sure you are seen. Wearing a high-visibility vest and a headlight and taillight will help keep you visible. These can be bought at any sporting goods store for less than $50.