Cycling to work in the beautiful sunny weather is a great way to exercise your muscles and enjoy the weather. And you will even enjoy cycling more if you observe road safety rules. Bike accidents are a common phenomenon. Anybody who has ever taken a bike on the road knows that falling off or crashing at some point very nearly inevitable.
As a matter, some loon cycling enthusiasts only find cycling appealing because of the potential danger. But crashing hurts, alright. Sometimes quite a lot. Essential safety tips for cyclists help them stay safe on the road and arrive safely. Here is a look at bike safety tips to keep you safe on the road.
Safe Cycling Tips
1. Keep your bicycle in good condition
There is nothing as dangerous to a cyclist as an unroadworthy bike. It will also wear you out so that you will be holding your hand onto your lower back in pain at the end of the ride.
Before getting on your bike, insect it and ensure it is good to take on the terrain or pavements. Ensure there are no loose parts and that every component is working properly.
Inspect your equipment, inflate tires well and check that the brakes are working because you will need them for sure.
2. Put on a properly fitted helmet
Sure no one loves greasy frizzy helmet hair but fail to wear one, and you risk losing your head, literally. Motorcycle helmets protect the head. Head injuries cause a significant number of deaths in bike accidents. Riders who don’t use helmets are 40 percent more likely to die. The same statistics show putting on a helmet lowers the risk of death by 29 percent.
Pick the right helmet size; it should neither be too tight nor too loose. A tight helmet cuts blood flow to the brain, causing blurry vision and dizziness. A loose helmet, on the other hand, may come off, leaving your head unprotected from high-impact falls and flying objects. See here on how to wear a bike helmet properly.
3. Adjust the bike to fit
Cycling is most relaxed and efficient when your bicycle and its components are attuned to fit the rider’s body correctly. Stand over the bike. If it is a road bike, the space between you and the top bar should be 1-2 inches. For a mountain bike, it should be 3-4 inches. While at it, ensure the seat is level back to front, but adjust it to permit a considerable bend at the knee when you extend your leg fully. Make sure the handlebar is at a similar height to the seat.
4. Wear bright colors
While on the road on your bike, you want to be seen and see. Wear bright colors at all times. Experts recommend neon or fluorescent; white is not recommended. While at it, wear flashing lights or reflective markings or tape.
5. Watch out for road hazards
Potholes, gravels, broken glass, animals, puddles, etc., can cause you to get into accidents, be on the lookout for such, and alert cyclists behind you too.
Keep your head up and watch where you are headed. It may sound obvious, but focusing on the road while cycling boosts concentration. It also helps swerve better.
Don’t ride at night. Riding at night is substantially dangerous than riding during the day because it’s harder to be seen or see at night. If you’ve got to ride at night, wear something reflective. Many states’ laws require red rear reflectors and white lights on the front.
6. Take control of the bike
Many cycling enthusiasts like to pull the hands-free riding trick to show off or use their hands for other things. But hands-free riding is dangerous since you won’t have control over the bike. Always use at least one hand to control the bike. Hold that handlebar, and stay safe.
Rules of Traffic That Cyclists Need to Observe
As explained above, cyclist’s behavior on the road matter a lot. According to Bike Accident Attorney, to boost safety, put on a helmet, and follow traffic rules. In many places, bicycles are considered vehicles. Cyclists have to observe the same rules as drivers, including:
1. Going with the traffic flow. Always cycle on the right, following the traffic flow, whether you are on a bike lane or in the street; don’t ride against it.
2. Observe traffic laws. Under many state laws, cyclists and riders have the same responsibility and rights as motor vehicle operators. Consequently, they must obey all traffic signals, lane markings, speed limits, stop signs, and not face traffic.
3. When appropriate, wait for traffic. Cyclists on smaller roads must always yield to traffic on major roads. Even I there’s no stop signal when you are coming out of a bike path, driveway, or other smaller road, you must slow down and ensure the way is clear before continuing.
4. Ride in a straight line. Cycling in a straight line makes you predictable as opposed to riding in and out of motor vehicles in the street. Also, alert others on your moves.
5. Don’t ride without at least one hand on the handlebars. While hands-free riding may be fun, it is dangerous and considered illegal by many states. You may get a ticket, warning, or be fined for it.
6. Watch out for traffic when turning. Always look before turning. Only turn when there is a break in traffic behind you. And remember to signal your move before making it.
7. Remain alert. It would be best if you used your eyes and ears to focus when on the road. Watch out for road hazards. Most importantly, avoid wearing a headset; you need those ears to focus too.
8. Watch out for parked vehicles. To avoid running into unexpected crashes with opening car doors or cars pulling out of parking lots, ride a significant distance from the curb.
Many bike-related accidents resulting in harm or even death stem from the cyclist’s behavior, including not observing traffic rules, not wearing a helmet, or riding against traffic. To boost your road safety, follow traffic rules and the above safety tips for bike riders.