We hear about pedestrians being hit by cars all the time, but apparently motor vehicles aren’t the only thing they have to fear. An Australian politician has gone so far as to call them “silent killers”. So who are these elusive characters? They’re cyclists and they’re stirring up quite the commotion everywhere from London to our Seattle streets, where a cyclist was charged with hit-and-run as well as vehicular assault after hitting a child on their bicycle and then quickly leaving the scene.

Now we have nothing against bicyclists here, as the majority follows the rules of the road. But there are the few that give the rest of them a bad name. It’s important that, before bicycling, you make sure that you’ve mastered the following essential riding skills to avoid accidents – with cars and pedestrians alike:

• SCANNING BEHIND. Always look over your shoulder before moving in any direction.
• SHORT STOP. Change how your weight is normally distributed when you brake. In a short stop, rise off the seat of the bike and move your whole body back so that there is more weight on the rear wheel.
• SMALL SWERVE. Learn to quickly steer around anything you may come across in the road without moving too far in either direction.
• QUICK TURN. Lean towards whatever is coming at you (i.e. a car) very briefly first, and then lean in the direction you want to go and turn hard.

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