1 Always wear a helmet
Yes, you'll look like a geek, but. And make sure it's adjusted properly so that when you inevitably face-plant into someone's trunk, your forehead is protected.
2 Ride with traffic in a straight line.
That way you can be seen. And always pass other vehicles -- bikes included -- on the left, never the right.
3 Ride out in the lane beyond the arc of opening car doors.
On streets with parking, that's the way to avoid the dreaded door prize. Keep an eye on the driver's-side rear mirrors. If there's someone in the driver's seat about to exit, you'll see his or her reflection.
4 Don't hug the curb.
Ride at least 3 feet out to avoid sewer grates, broken glass and puddles mined with hidden potholes.
5 Keep your hands on both brakes.
Be prepared for pedestrians stepping off the curb without warning.
6 Cross streetcar tracks at a right angle to avoid spills.
Keep this in mind especially in rain or snow.
7 Leave the long, flowing skirt and flip-flops at home.
Wear slim-contoured clothing to avoid getting caught in wheels and chains.
8 After dark, use lights -- both front and back -- and wear fluorescent clothing.
9 Obey the rules of the road.
Stop for lights, streetcar doors and crosswalks. Keep off the sidewalk. If you're not following the traffic code when you're in an accident (and you will be), you have no legal recourse.
10 Report accidents to the police immediately and stay on the scene till they arrive.
Get licence plate numbers and contact information for any witnesses. If the police won't come, go to the cop shop and make a report yourself. If you've been injured, get medical attention. Have your bike checked over by a bike mechanic and get a repair estimate for insurance purposes. Then sue the pants off the suckers!