Biking Safety Guide
While the growing interest in bike riding continues to increase, the concern surrounding biking safety comes to light.
There will also always be irresponsible drivers who may cause injury to others on the road, especially cyclists. However, that does not mean people should give up on this recreational hobby.
Instead, learn from these best practices, as they will help keep you protected while riding your bike. Here are the best bike safety guidelines.
Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is a must. In fact, it’s the law in California; cyclists 18 or under are required to wear a helmet, and any passengers who are 5 and under must wear a helmet, as well.
Even if you and your family members are over the age of 18, it’s still a good idea to wear a helmet. For the sake of looking cool, many cyclists opt out of wearing one. In the event of an accident, it won’t prevent all head injuries, but it can drastically reduce the severity of them. It might even save a life.
Wear Colorful Clothing
Make it easier for motorists to see you by wearing colorful clothing. This will help you stand out while on the road, especially when lighting conditions are not great (such as in the dark or fog).
If possible, wear fluorescent/reflective clothing. This will significantly improve biking safety by increasing your visibility and help drivers spot you on the road.
Install Rearview Mirrors
Rearview mirrors aren’t just for cars. You can pick up these mirrors and install them on your handlebars so you can see who and what’s behind you at all times.
These rearview mirrors can be especially helpful for those who are just starting out with biking.
Bring a Repair Kit
All it takes is a piece of glass or nail to puncture your bike tire and ruin your trip. This can happen anywhere, and you don’t want to be stranded somewhere. So, it’s important that you always have a repair kit on hand.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with the instructions so you’re not struggling with them when you’re already in a high-stress situation. This can help prepare you for the worst and get you home quicker and safer.
It might be nice to put on some music while you’re cycling and taking in the beautiful scenery. However, just like with driving, you need to stay alert. When it comes to bike safety, you need to be a defensive rider.
You need to be aware of your surroundings. If there’s a car barreling toward you and you don’t hear it, it could mean the difference between life and death. Staying alert means you’ll be able to make split-second decisions and avoid bad accidents that’ll cause lifelong pain.
So don’t have earbuds in while biking. Don’t listen to music, and save phone conversations for when you get to your destination.
Ride With the Traffic
There’s a common misconception that you should ride against traffic. However, you should ride with it, not against it.
There are two reasons for this. First, drivers turning into a road don’t check for oncoming traffic, so this drastically raises the chance that you’ll be hit by a motorist. Secondly, if you need to make a right turn, it’ll be pretty much impossible, especially on busier roads.
Don’t Ride Alone
If possible, you should never bike solo. When you ride a bike with someone else, you’ll be more visible to motorists. Also, should anything happen to you, you have someone nearby who can take the proper actions to get you the medical attention you need.
If it’s not possible to go cycling with another person, check in with a friend or family member before you leave and after you arrive at your destination. When you take breaks, still check in, so someone is always aware of your status.
Always Bring Your Cell Phone and ID
Today’s smartphones do so much. They are used as GPS, to socialize, take pictures, and so much more. Leaving your home without it can be incredibly stressful, so always ensure that it’s with you.
Similarly, you should also bring an I.D., like your driver’s license. In the case that an accident happens and you’re unconscious, first responders can use your identification card to identify you and contact your loved ones.
Plan Out the Safest Routes Possible
The beauty of having smartphones is having a portable GPS system with you at all times. However, programs such as Google Maps aren’t without faults, because they don’t take into account the safety of neighborhoods.
Before you leave for a bike ride, take a look at what Google Maps is telling you. Does it appear straightforward and safe? Or, should you make a manual detour?
For example, let’s say you’re biking after dark in the summer to stay cool and to avoid sunburns. Then, Google Maps takes you through an unsafe neighborhood or somewhere that has frequent drunk drivers. You’ll want to either make a mental note to take a detour or use the manual map functionality to click and drag to your preferred route instead.
Practice Good Biking Safety
If you and your family are thinking of taking up biking, whether it’s for transportation or a hobby, you need to practice good biking safety. With the tips from this guide, you’ll be able to practice safety on the road.
Of course, you can’t control other people’s actions, so there may come a time when you’re in a biking accident with a motorist. In that case, working with a good bicycle accident lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
If you’ve been in a biking accident, then you’ll want a personal injury lawyer to be your advocate. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation.