As more and more bicyclists take to the roads, bicycle safety issues arise. Fortunately, there are a number of tips that are easy to implement and will keep cyclists safer under most conditions. Take a moment to read through this list, and refer to it often to keep you safe on the road. The most important tip of all: always be vigilant of your surroundings. Cyclists must be aware of vehicles, pedestrians, potholes, and all other potential hazards in order to remain safe.
10 Best Bicycle Safety Tips:
1. Keep Your Head Safe. Wear a helmet whenever you are on your bike. Your helmet should be secure and fitted to your head so that it doesn’t come off easily. A helmet does no good if it can easily be pushed off with pressure. In the event of an impact, you want that helmet to be secure and fastened well. If you are in a crash, replace your helmet, even if it appears intact. Helmets are designed and tested for a single impact only, and must be replaced after each crash even if they show no signs of damage.
2. Pay attention! Do not let cell phones, music, or other distractions divert your attention from your surroundings. In some jurisdictions, it is illegal to ride using headphones. Remember that your sense of sound is very important to alert you to oncoming traffic and other potential hazards. And for crying out loud- never try to text when you are cycling (yes, I have seen it happen!). Always pull over if you have an urgent need to use your cell phone.
3. Go with the flow of traffic. Bike in the same direction as traffic. This bike safety tip is easy to follow and makes sense.
4. Check your bike for safety before each ride. This is especially important if you do not ride frequently. Is your bike adjusted to a comfortable position? Are your brakes working properly? Are your tires properly inflated? It takes just a few moments to look your bike over, but can save you a lot of time if it prevents you from crashing or breaking down on the road. This important bike safety tip can prevent lots of hassles.
5. Keep alert and vigilant. Watch for obstacles and potential hazards. Keep an eye out for cars that either have just parked or pedestrians who have entered their cars. These cars may pull out suddenly, or drivers may open their car doors without warning, presenting bicycle safety hazards. Attempt to make eye contact with drivers around you so they are aware of your presence, but never assume that a driver sees you.
6. Obey traffic laws. This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is important for cyclist safety. Obey all traffic laws. Also, be aware of the traffic laws in your area. Your local department of motor vehicles is an important resource. They will have booklets that you can get that will inform you of the laws in your area.
7. Take a bicycle safety course. No matter how experienced you may be, you cannot take bicycle safety for granted. I recommend taking a bicycle safety course regularly to brush up on your skills. Are you an expert? Consider offering a course to others. This is especially important for children and inexperienced cyclists.
8. Use hand signals. Let drivers and other cyclists know which direction you are traveling. Use hand signals to alert those around you before turning or stopping. Never assume that drivers will stop.
9. Be visible. This applies to both clothing and lights/reflectors. Wear brightly colored clothing when you are on your bicycle. Invest in a bright windbreaker and wear it when you ride. It will keep the wind off you, but it will also alert others to your presence. Another bike safety tip- a flashing light and reflectors. The name of the game is to be seen – so that you can avoid potential hazards.
10. Be predictable. No matter how easy it is to weave in and out of traffic, you are far safer riding in a predictable manner. Remember that most drivers are not used to cyclists on the road and may not practice proper precautions. Try not to stop suddenly, keep to your lane, and don’t weave around cars or objects in the road.
Be adhering to these safety tips, you reduce many of the risks for cyclists on the road. If you are a cyclist, you know that there are numerous risks, and that crashes can be severe. If you are in a crash, your risk of injuries is high. That’s why it is important to have an experienced attorney if you are involved in a crash. The attorneys at Kass & Moses know the field of cycling law well, and will work diligently to handle your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact them today for more information.