Everyone knows cycling is a wonderful way to stay fit, commute, and enjoy the great outdoors. But if you are riding a bike – whether you’re riding to work, doing an errand, or simply exercising and taking in the sights – it’s important to prioritize safety in order to avoid accidents and injuries! It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned cyclist or just starting – these top tips will help you protect yourself while enjoying your two-wheeled adventures.
- Wear the right gear
The first rule you should remember is to wear the appropriate gear. It is one of the most crucial aspects of bike safety! Invest in a well-fitting helmet that meets safety standards to protect your head in case of a fall or collision. Additionally, wear bright and reflective clothing to increase your visibility, especially during low-light conditions. Experts recommend padded gloves, knee and elbow pads, and sturdy footwear to provide additional protection.
- Obey traffic laws
The last thing you want is to get into an accident where you must file a bicycle accident claim, right? That said, treat your bike as a vehicle and follow the same rules of the road. Obey traffic signals, stop signs, and lane markings, and signal your intentions as clearly as possible – whether you’re turning or changing lanes. By riding predictably and following traffic laws, you can minimize the risk of accidents and improve your overall safety.
- Be mindful of road conditions
Stay alert to the road conditions and adjust your riding accordingly. Watch out for potholes, gravel, or other obstacles that may cause you to lose control. Remember that wet or slippery surfaces can also increase the chances of accidents, so reduce your speed and take extra caution during adverse weather conditions!
- Stay visible
Another way to protect yourself and ensure your safety while biking on the road is to make yourself visible to motorists and pedestrians to avoid potential collisions. Use your bike’s front and rear lights to increase your visibility, even during the day. Wear reflective clothing and attach reflectors to your bike. Position yourself in the appropriate lane, especially when turning, and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they are aware of your presence.
- Be aware of blind spots
Recognize that drivers have blind spots, especially larger vehicles like trucks and buses. Avoid lingering in these blind spots and try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing or changing lanes. By being aware of blind spots, you can reduce the risk of being involved in a collision.
- Ride defensively
You should also adopt a defensive riding approach to anticipate potential hazards and react accordingly. Stay vigilant and be prepared to yield to pedestrians, animals, or other cyclists. In addition, leave sufficient distance between yourself and parked cars to avoid getting ‘doored’- a cyclist’s worst nightmare! Maintain a safe distance from moving vehicles, especially large ones, to provide yourself with more reaction time.
- Stay focused and avoid distractions
Keep your focus on the road and avoid distractions, such as using your phone or wearing headphones. You must also pay attention to your surroundings and anticipate potential hazards. Maintaining concentration ensures you can react promptly to unexpected situations and make split-second decisions to protect yourself.