6 Tips for Bicycle Safety
Bicycle safety remains crucial for all bikers, especially those who use bicycles for any type of commute. While bike lanes are becoming more prevalent, most roads do not have designated space for bikers. This means that bicycles share the road with cars, and this can be very dangerous.
To prevent accidents, cyclists need to know how to protect themselves while riding. In many ways, bicycle riders deal with the short side of the stick because neither pedestrians nor cars really respect cyclists.
Basic Bicycle Safety
1. Wear a Helmet
Whether it’s the law or not, a helmet can be the barrier between a cyclist and a severe injury. Since cyclists have so few protective barriers between them and their environment, it’s important to take every available opportunity for safety. Develop a helmet habit and stick to it. Accidents can happen on the road, sidewalk, bike paths, or in your driveway.
2. Follow the Road Rules
While cars have clear road rules and pedestrians have some basic rules to follow, bicycle riders tend to think they can choose whether to follow pedestrian rules or road rules. This is not the case. Cyclists should follow road rules by riding on the right side with the traffic, following traffic lights, and obeying street signs. Many bicycle-car collisions occur because bicyclists do not follow the road rules.
3. Learn Hand Signals
Since bicycles are not usually outfitted with blinkers, hand signals are the key element that allows cyclists to communicate with vehicles on the road. Cyclists who ride on the street must be able to hand signal their turns while holding a steady trajectory with their bicycle. Failing to signal riding intentions with hand signals can result in accidents.
4. Stay Visible
Cyclists can help prevent accidents by making themselves easier to see. This can mean wearing bright and reflective clothing as well as outfitting their bicycle with plenty of reflectors. If cycling at night, a bicyclist should wear blinking lights on the front and back of their bicycle.
5. Stay Present
While you may be tempted to listen to music or talk on the phone while biking, it’s important that you stay fully engaged. You do not want to be distracted and miss a chance to save yourself from a possible accident. As one of the smallest vehicles on the road with the least protection, distractions can be serious.
6. Maintain Your Bicycle
When your bicycle is in good working condition, you’re less likely to experience bike-related accidents. Be sure that your tires are at the right air pressure and that your seat height is high enough for your height. Check your brakes. If you are fitted well to your bicycle, you’ll be able to respond quickly to road hazards.
These tips for bicycle safety can make a big difference when you’re riding on the road. Always take the time to maintain your bike, wear your helmet, and pay attention while riding. However, when a bike accident injury does occur, reach out to a personal injury lawyer by calling 352-371-4000 to discover the legal options that may be available to you.