Whether it’s a love for the outdoors or simply out of necessity, the simplicity of riding a bicycle offers a sense of freedom that no other mode of modern transport offers. There’s no need for fuel or other gadgets and devices. It’s just you and your bicycle. You’re in complete control. Or are you?
The vulnerable bicycle
While you may be in complete control of your bicycle, you may encounter many dangers while out on the road. A study revealed that at least two people are killed daily in motorcycle and bicycle accidents in the US. A separate study by the federal government revealed that 90% of bicycle accidents involve automobiles.
The government study also revealed that over 540,000 bicycle riders were injured within the year of study. If you don’t want to end up one of the injured, be sure to pay attention to the following safety tips:
Bicycle riding safety tips
- Wear the right safety gear
Riding a bicycle may seem safe until you’re involved in an accident. Bicycle riders have no physical barrier between their bodies and other objects. Consequently, they are more likely to be seriously injured in an accident.
It is important to wear safety gear including a helmet. Some states have introduced laws that make it necessary for riders below the age of 16 to wear a helmet while riding their bicycles. Helmets protect your head and reduce the risk of brain injuries.
- Obey traffic rules
If you’re riding a bicycle, you should know that you are considered a vehicle operator. Therefore, the rules of the road also apply to you. You must use the right lane, obey traffic signals and keep to your lane just like other vehicles on the road. Don’t ride against traffic.
- Be courteous
It is important to be courteous to other road users including pedestrians. Always give way to pedestrians at designated crossings. Be sure to yield to other vehicles when you’re required to do so.
- Wear bright clothing
Don’t assume that other motorists can see you. Other drivers could be distracted. They may also miss you since bicycles are such small vehicles when compared with other vehicles on the road. Accordingly, it is important to wear a reflective jacket both in the day and night. Ensure that your jacket has bright fluorescent colors.
Following these tips will help you avoid an accident that is likely to cost a lot of money if not your life.