Read our riding safety tips and suggestions for getting through busy intersections.
Riding safety tips
The best bike route is often different to the way you would take a car. Have a look at the Online Everyday Riding Map to assist with planning the safest route for you. Scan over the route you intend to take to familiarise yourself with on-road sections and plan how to make your way through intersections.
Bright or hi-vis clothing and lights can help other vehicles see you. Riding in the gutter can make you less visible to other vehicles so allow appropriate distance from the curb, this also helps you avoid debris near the curb.
Use your bell, voice and hand signals to communicate with other road users; consider what others may expect you to do and ride predictably. Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians when practical to do so.
Be aware of things ahead and behind you. Look out for people opening car doors and cars turning in front of you, pulling out of driveways or leaving parking spots. Make eye contact with drivers or pedestrians that may block your path and be prepared to give way.
Slow down when there is traffic or potential hazards so that you have time to react. Ride in bike lanes if available, unless it's impractical to do so. Leave space next to parked cars if possible or slow down to avoid car dooring. Where a road is too narrow for a car to pass safely, it can be safest to move into the centre of a traffic lane, moving left again when safe to do so; remember to scan around yourself to check it is safe and signal by extending your arm before moving into the lane.
Look for other vehicles before going through an intersection. Be careful overtaking cars on the left and give way to those turning left in front of you. Be aware of vehicle blind spots and don’t pass heavy vehicles on the left in case they can’t see you. Consider using a hook turn where right turns are permitted, or get off your bike and walk it through difficult intersections.
Be prepared to react quickly and be ready to break. Keep your bike maintained. Know how to use your bike including riding with one hand to use hand signals. To take off smoothly from a stopped position, change into an easy gear before stopping and move the pedals to the power position (with one pedal just forward of the highest point of rotation) before starting again.
Bike Law is a bike rider's guide to road rules in Victoria, including required equipment (helmet, brakes, bell and lights) and riding with vehicles.
Be careful when there are changes to the riding surface including when there is rain, when crossing bluestones or tram tracks (keep your wheels at an angle to the tracks when crossing).
When riding on-road, it's important to know a few key points including how to turn right, move through roundabouts and traffic lights. If unsure, you can always dismount and walk through an intersection too.