Cycling helps you stay healthy and saves you money on gas. Cycling is a great way to get around, and it’s becoming more and more popular as a mode of transportation. However, cycling can also be dangerous, especially if you don’t take the necessary precautions to stay safe. Cycling is the second most dangerous mode of transportation, after motorcycling. It’s important to know how to stay safe while cycling so that you can enjoy the benefits of cycling without putting yourself at risk.
Here are ten ways to stay safe while cycling:
1. Always Wear a Helmet
A helmet is your best line of defense in the event of a crash. Ensure your helmet is fitted correctly, and always wear it when cycling. Helmet laws vary from state to state, so check the laws in your state to see if you’re required to wear a helmet while cycling. Also, be sure to replace your helmet every few years, as it will lose its protective properties over time. Other protective gear, such as padded shorts and gloves, can also help reduce the risk of injuries in a crash.
2. Follow the Rules of the Road
Cyclists are considered vehicles in most jurisdictions, so you must obey the same traffic laws as motorists. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for turning cars, opening car doors, and other hazards. Rules are in place for a reason, so be sure to follow them.
3. Use a Bike Light at Night
Make yourself visible to drivers by using a front and rear bike light when cycling at night. Light up the road in front of you and make yourself more visible to motorists and pedestrians.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Keep an eye out for potholes, gravel, and other road hazards. Also, be aware of your surroundings when making turns, and always signal your intentions. Surroundings can be just as dangerous as traffic, so be vigilant at all times. In addition, listen for cars coming up from behind, and never assume that a driver sees you. Use mirror and hand signals to communicate with motorists.
5. Use Hand Signals
When turning, always use the appropriate hand signal to indicate your intention. This will help drivers know what they’re doing and avoid any potential accidents. Hand signals are also helpful when stopping, slowing down, or changing lanes. Take care to use the correct hand signal for the maneuver you’re making. Do not use hand signals while you’re wearing headphones, as you may not be able to hear oncoming traffic.
6. Ride Appropriately for the Road Conditions
If the road is wet or icy, reduce your speed and take it easy. If you’re on a busy street, stay to the right. If you’re on a bike trail, use the appropriate lane. Be aware of the road conditions and adjust your riding accordingly. Wet road conditions can be very dangerous for cyclists and can cause you to lose control of your bicycle.
7. Don’t Overload Your Bike
Don’t try to carry too much weight on your bike. This can make it difficult to control and can also lead to a crash. Limit the amount of weight you carry to what is comfortably manageable. Overload your bike, and you’re asking for trouble. Bike accidents can cause serious injuries, so avoid carrying too much weight.
8. Beware of Car Doors
Be aware of car doors when cycling. If you’re riding next to a parked car, be sure to keep an eye out for opening car doors. This can be a common cause of bicycle accidents. Car doors can come out of nowhere, so always be alert when cycling near parked cars. In case of a bicycle accident, a lawyer is a must. Look for an expert bicycle accident lawyer nearby.
9. Use Caution at Intersections
Intersections are the most dangerous part of the road for cyclists. Be prepared to stop, and always use the crosswalk if one is available. Intersections are also a common place for accidents to occur, so use caution when crossing the street. Caution is essential when cycling in traffic.
10. Carry Identification
If you’re involved in a cycling accident, it’s important to have identification on you so that authorities can contact your loved ones. Make sure to carry your driver’s license, health insurance card, and bicycle registration card with you whenever you cycle. Identification can be helpful in the event of an accident.
Cycling is a great way to get around, and it’s becoming more popular as a mode of transportation. However, bicycle accidents are common, too, due to the vulnerability cyclists have on the road. To stay safe while cycling, you should always keep in mind, these are ten things.