Bicycle accidents can happen to anyone and often result in serious injuries. To help prevent these accidents from happening, it is important to be aware of the risks and take some simple precautions. This blog post will discuss some easy tips that can help you stay safe while riding your bike.
Make yourself visible
One of the primary things you can do to prevent accidents is to make yourself visible to other motorists. This means wearing bright clothing during the day and using reflective gear or lights at night. You should also avoid riding in the blind spots of other vehicles. Some of the most seasoned personal injury lawyers suggest that when you still find yourself in a road mishap involving other motorists on the road despite making yourself visible, you must make sure you know what to do.
Collect as much evidence at the scene as possible, get witnesses’ contact information, and take photos if possible. It would help if you also got in touch with a lawyer. Keep in mind that these experts are knowledgeable when it comes to traffic laws, and they can help you get the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Rest assured that doing all these will help you build a strong case should you need to file for a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver later on.
- Use lights
Another way to improve your cycling safety is to use lights, especially when riding at night or in low-light conditions. Doing so can make yourself more visible to motorists, which can help prevent accidents. In this case, your bike’s lights should be visible from at least 500 feet away. You can choose from different types of bike lights, and it’s important to select the right one for your needs. You may consider using a front, rear, and even reflective tape to increase your visibility. All of these products are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most bike shops.
Wear a helmet
Another thing you can do to prevent accidents is to wear a helmet whenever you ride. Helmets are designed to protect your head in a fall or collision and can be the difference between life and death. Make sure that your helmet fits properly and that it is securely fastened before you set out on your bike.
In choosing the right helmet, always go for one certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It would help if you also looked for a helmet that is comfortable to wear and that won’t obstruct your vision. And lastly, replace your helmet every five years or sooner if it sustains any damage. All of these will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Obey traffic laws
Just like motorists, cyclists are also required to follow the rules of the road. This means riding in the same direction as traffic and obeying all traffic signs and signals. You should also yield to pedestrians and give them the right of way when necessary. As much as possible, avoid riding on the sidewalk, as this can be dangerous for both you and pedestrians. This can be attributed to the fact that pedestrians generally do not expect cyclists to be coming from that direction.
It is also a good idea to avoid riding too fast, as this can increase your risk of crashing. If you must ride on the road, try to stay as close to the right side as possible. And when riding in a group, make sure to ride single file, so you don’t block traffic. This will not only make it easier for motorists to pass, but it will also prevent accidents. Not only will following traffic laws help keep you safe, but it will also make you a more predictable cyclist, which makes it easier for other motorists to share the road with you.
Use hand signals
Another way to improve your cycling safety is to use hand signals when making turns or lane changes. This will let other motorists know what you intend to do and help them be more prepared for your maneuver. As much as possible, rely on something other than verbal cues, as other drivers can easily miss them. Rather, use hand signals, as they are more visible and easier to understand.
Some hand signals that you can use include extending your left arm out to the side if you want to turn left, extending your left arm out to the side, and bending it up at the elbow for turning right. For stopping or slowing down, extend your left arm out to the side and point it down towards the ground. All of these hand signals are easy to do, and they can help prevent accidents.
When you use hand signals, you are being predictable, which is one of the keys to safety on the road. When the other motorists know what you will do, they can easily adjust their speed and give you the space you need. You will also be able to avoid any potential conflicts on the road.
Be aware of your surroundings
When riding your bike, it is important to be aware of your surroundings. This means looking for hazards such as potholes, glass, and debris. You should also be aware of the surrounding traffic and try to anticipate the movements of other vehicles. By being alert and aware of your surroundings, you can help prevent accidents before they happen.
As much as possible, you should also avoid using headphones or listening to music while riding, as this can distract you from the task at hand. If you need to listen to music, make sure to use only one earbud to still hear what’s happening around you. Or better yet, opt for a bone-conduction headset that will allow you to hear your music and the traffic around you. However, it is ideal if you can enjoy the ride and the scenery without any distractions. This way, you can focus on being safe.
Make sure your bike is in good condition
Lastly, you should also ensure your bike is in good condition before riding. This means checking the brakes, tires, and chains to ensure they are all in good working order. As much as possible, the brakes should be replaced every six months, and the tires should be inflated to the proper pressure. You should also ensure that your bike’s frame is not damaged in any way. This means that no cracks or breaks could cause you to lose control of your bike. By taking the time to check your bike and make sure that it is in good condition, you can help prevent accidents before they happen. Also, by keeping your bike in good working order, you will be able to avoid any potential mechanical problems that could cause you to crash.
In addition to this, you should also ensure that the bike you use fits your size. A bike that is too big or too small can be difficult to control, increasing the risk of accidents. This can be attributed to the fact that you will not be able to reach the pedals or handlebars properly, which can lead to a loss of control. You will also find it hard to balance on a bike that is too big or too small, which can lead to a fall. To know the right bike size for you, stand over the bike’s frame, and there should be around two to three inches of clearance between you and the top tube. If you can’t find a bike with the right size frame, you can always have one custom-made for you.
There are some easy tips that can help you prevent bicycle accidents. Remember to be visible, wear a helmet, and obey traffic laws. And most importantly, use hand signals when making turns or lane changes. If you take the time to follow these simple tips, you can help prevent bicycle accidents from happening. Just remember that safety should always be your top priority when riding your bike.
Nina Burkovskaya is a senior content writer at Raisetwice since 2020. She has 12 years of yoga experience and 5 years experience of motivational coaching. On a free time loves to read biographies of the famous people and go for a walk with her dog.