In today’s time, there are people traveling with bikes all around the world. For this reason, there has been a gradual increase in equipment and safety precautions that bikers can now take. After all, getting into an accident on your bike can be quite dangerous and possibly fatal.
Fortunately, with the right gear and cycling decisions, you may be able to avoid such accidents and even if you do get into one, you can minimize the harm that could occur. In this article, learn 5 ways to stay safe cycling around the road that is worth keeping in mind.
1. Always Remember to Wear a Helmet
The first way to stay safe while cycling around the road is by wearing a helmet. Whenever you go out on a ride, it is crucial that you wear a helmet as it can prevent life-threatening injuries. Protecting your head can definitely save your life, so much so that you can reduce about 70% of your chances of ending up with a severe head injury.
Wearing a helmet is enforced by law in many states, but not all. However, your safety is ultimately in your own hands and the precautions you take will determine whether you make it out of such an unfortunate event without any wounds. Hence, make sure to always protect yourself with a helmet.
2. Equipment Always Matters
When hitting the road, making sure that everything is in peak condition is a must for every biker. Accidents aren’t always caused by a third-party distraction or unexpected debris lying on the road, sometimes your own equipment can malfunction and threaten your life. Depending on your skill levels, from Specialized to basic accessories, everything you choose to use will impact your road safety. So, choose wisely!
A significant number of biker accidents occur due to an issue arising from the equipment. For this very reason, you should always check your bike and your gear so that you can be certain of your safety before going out. Furthermore, inspect your tires to see if they are properly inflated and if your lights and reflectors are working
3. Don’t Try to Show Off on an Open Road
We get it, it’s fun and satisfying to show off the tricks and skills you’ve learned throughout your biking career, but there is a time and place for when you should try doing these. Regardless of how good you are, always avoid doing such tricks on a busy road with other vehicles and pedestrians passing by. You should leave your tricks for when you play biking video games as doing them in real life may come with harmful consequences.
Bikers often think that their good sense of balance allows them to take their hands off the rail. This makes you unprepared to act when something unexpected occurs. Debris on the road, people nearby, and other vehicles on the road can all cause you to lose your balance and fall. Hence, you should make it mandatory to always keep your hands on the rail except when you’re giving hand signs to others.
4. Wear What Makes You Visible to Others
Many accidents on the road occur when a driver is unable to see if there is someone around them and ends up crashing with them. Although it’s not necessarily your fault that the driver didn’t notice, you can still take measures to prevent such an accident. You should put on bright-colored clothes or clothes with reflective materials to help you seem more visible.
Additionally, you should equip your bike with reflectors so that people can see your bike from afar and you can also use your horn and lights to make your presence known to the other people going down the road.
5. Always Use the Path For Bikes
One of the best ways to stay safe while cycling around the road is by staying in the biker’s lane. There are dedicated bike lanes for a reason and you should use them every time they are available. This makes it so that you travel on a safe path without having to maneuver your way around other cars and motorcycles.
Many bikers think that the sidewalks are a safe place to ride their bikes, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You can always crash into pedestrians as the sidewalks are meant for people on foot. Furthermore, the sidewalk may be uneven and you are always one unfortunate bump away from falling. And lastly, cars on the road won’t expect a bike to enter suddenly from a sidewalk as drivers are all used to the behavior of other cars. Hence, you should stay on the biker’s lane instead of the sidewalk.
Protected bike lanes were meant to prioritize the safety of cyclists so that they can ride at their own pace without having to deal with other larger vehicles. You are also much more vulnerable on a bike than on a car so when the accident does occur, you’re the one whose most likely to be injured badly.
Additionally, you shouldn’t try to weave around and maintain your path like you would when driving a car, this means, no sudden movements or going against the flow of traffic. The more you ride like you’re driving a car, the easier it will be for other drivers to predict your movement and not crash into you. Although it’s fun to see bikes overtaking and making intense moves when watching sports professionals, you should prioritize your safety when it comes to riding a bike yourself, especially in high traffic.
To conclude, you should always remember that as a bike rider, you are vulnerable as you don’t have the protective body of a car to save you from severe injuries, one wrong move, and a trip to the hospital is bound to happen.
Hence, make sure that you’ve done all you can to prevent such accidents and maintain safe behavior when you’re out for a ride. We hope that this article has helped you be safer with these 5 ways to stay safe when cycling around and we wish you good luck on your future journeys.