One of the advantages of living in New Orleans is that cycling is pleasant all year round. Other parts of the country have a harsher winter climate, making it less so.
Your biggest problem will be the lack of light, but you still have more daylight hours than northern states. Darker nights make it harder for drivers to see you, and rain can exacerbate that, smearing windshields and causing headlamps and street lamps to flare on the glass.
Motorists need to account for that and adjust their driving to ensure they can see cyclists. Yet, sadly, you cannot rely on them to do that. As it’s your safety at stake, it pays to take extra steps to protect yourself. Here are some:
1. Use plenty of lights.
You need to see the road in front of you, and you need others to see you. A good headlight is crucial for seeing, and a rear light is a minimum to help others see you. Consider extra lights that blink constantly, as the movement can help you stand out. Also, consider placing lights on parts of you or your bicycle that move. For instance, your ankle or a wheel. Again, the movement can catch drivers’ eyes better than static lights.
2. Reflect drivers’ lights back at them.
Reflective clothing takes advantage of the light sources others output. If you do not like the thought of reflective clothing, consider sticking reflective tape on your helmet, ankles, bike or bike bags. It is cheap and effective.
3. Think about your positioning
If you need to stop to do something, try to do so under a street light rather than in a shadow. Also, position yourself where drivers will expect you to avoid the chance of surprising them. No jumping off the sidewalk into the road for instance.
Following these steps reduces the chance a driver injures you, but one of them still may do so due to their inattention. If so, seek legal help to claim compensation.