By Ashwath Rasquinha
Keep at least 3-4 feet distance from a parked vehicle as you are cycling by. The idea is to keep you safe in the event an idiot opens the vehicle door without first looking out.
Switch lanes only after you have taken a quick peek behind you, see that it is safe to do so, and then put your hand out in the direction you intend to move.
Practise taking quick peeks, that is looking over your shoulder. Even the faintest touch from a heavy vehicle can send you flying. Make your safety a top priority.
At a junction, if you're unsure what a motorist is trying to do, do not guess. Either stop and let the motorist pass, or put your hand out and signal to the motorist to stop so that you can go through. In my personal experience, I have always seen that motorists will respect your signal if you make one, and let you pass.
Making gestures on the road and signalling your intentions is always king. Because it is clear to all parties involved what you're trying to achieve, there's no confusion. Practise this not only during cycling but also when you're a motorist.
Always thank and show your appreciation to obliging motorists with a thumbs up, or acknowledge their kind gesture with a smile and a wave of the hand.
By doing that, you have sensitised them to the existence of the cyclist on the road, and might just save a cyclist who is oblivious to the dangers of not signalling.
Hand Signals every cyclist should know: