I get a lot of the same types of questions about riding a recumbent tadpole trike and there's no place like this blog to try to answer some of them.
One of the common themes is safety while riding on roads. Questions like the following are common:
- Your bike sits low to the ground, do cars see you?
- Your bike is wide, do cars give you enough clearance?
I have found that drivers don't seem to have too much of a problem seeing us. First, there's probably the "what is that?" look. Drivers actually seem to slow down and gawk due to the uniqueness of the bike. And while trikes are wider than a two-wheeled bike, I find that drivers actually give us more clearance as they go around us than when we're on a two-wheeler.
When it comes to safety, no one is going to look out for you more than you! Don't assume drivers see you, anticipate issues, look for escape routes, and be smart! You can ride smartly by always wearing a helmet, bright or reflective clothing, using lights and flashing LEDs to your advantage, using a mirror, and flying a safety flag. In addition - choose your route carefully and factor in traffic volume, time of day, the condition of the road (wide shoulders, potholes, etc). A road that is lightly traveled during the day, may be a racetrack during the morning and evening commutes.
The attached photo was taken for aesthetic purposes (the risks of writing a blog!) on a slow stretch of road. But realistically you'll be hugging the shoulder most of the time and monitoring traffic traveling in both directions.
I don't think that safety on the road is a recumbent/non-recumbent issue. It's about what type of rider you are and if you are proactively taking steps to minimize risk. Those are choices you'll have to make no matter how many wheels you ride!