Riding bicycles is not only a fun way to travel, but a healthy one as well since it is a great form of exercise. However, bicycles do put the rider at risk of injury if they are not careful. While most injuries are minor such as a scraped knee or elbow, others are more serious in nature which may be avoided when using the proper safety gear and following the rules of the road.
Here are some simple safety tips for riding bicycles that you can follow which will reduce the odds of something bad happening when you taking a trip on your bike.
Keep Your Bike in Top Shape: One of the causes of accidents is when bicycles do not brake or steer properly which doesn’t allow the rider to make proper corrections. Be sure your bike is in top shape so that it fully responds to your commands.
Wear a Helmet: A helmet protects you against one of the most commonly avoided injuries that many bicyclists face each year, a concussion or worse. Hitting your head against hard pavement can lead to long term health issues that a helmet could avoid, so wear one at all time.
Always Ride with Traffic: It is important that you treat your bike riding just like you were driving a vehicle. This increases your safety because motorists are more aware of bicyclists who ride on the proper side of the road.
Follow Lane Markings: Some roads will have bicycle lanes while others will not. Still, you will need to follow the proper lane markings for riding your bike in order to keep safe on the road.
Don’t Pass on the Right: This may be a tough one because it might seem safer to pass on the right, especially in terms of passing vehicles. However, drivers rarely look for anyone passing them on their right and this will present a big danger at intersections where they will not see you if they decide to turn right.
Don’t Use Headphones: Your hearing needs to be clear so that you are alerted when vehicles are coming up from behind. So, leave the headphones at home for better safety.
Be Aware of the Road Behind You: When everything is clear up front, check the road behind you just in case a vehicle or other bicyclist is approaching. You can either learn how to turn without changing the bike’s direction or get rear view mirrors to see what is behind you.
Remember to Use Hand Signals: Just like you were taught when driving vehicles, use the appropriate hand signals to let those behind you know you are turning either left or right.
Keep Eye Contact with Drivers: When you are interacting with vehicles, it is important to catch the eye of the driver if you are going to cross their path or if they are going to cross your path. If you don’t have eye contact, you cannot assume that they know you are there.
By following these simple safety tips, you can ride your bike with more confidence on the streets. Bicycles are a great way to travel and provide plenty of good exercise as well. This is why following the rules of the road and wearing the right protection is so important to your safety.