Bicycles are becoming popular as a source of transport. This is because they are environmentally friendly and can also help you reduce weight and cholesterol. But bicycles are also a cause of many road accidents, many of which are fatal. When considering bicycle safety, most people do little more than wear a helmet and reflector jacket. But there are more safety measures you should take if you are intent on cycling regularly.
Read on ten tips on bicycle safety and how to bike on the road accident-free.
One of the main reasons why cyclists get hit is because they are invisible to motorists. To increase your visibility, add a powerful headlight to your helmet. Having a headlight will make it hard for a motorist not to see you, especially at night.
Drivers may hit you if they are unaware of their environment. You can avoid this by waving your arms at approaching vehicles and shouting to make other road users aware of your presence. This may appear stupid but could end up saving your life by preventing a collision.
Another way to alert drivers of your presence is to install an air horn or bell on your bicycle. Make sure to sound them at drivers that seem to be unaware of you or those that are about to hit you.
Slow down when approaching other vehicles. This will make it easy for you to stop in case a vehicle gets too close to you. While it is annoying for you to slow down, you could save your life by doing so.
This will make it harder to get hit by a car on the intersection or by someone in a parked car opening a door. People worry about getting hit by cars from behind but statistically more cyclists get hit by cars turning in front of them or from car doors being opened in front of them. You can avoid these by cycling further left into the road.
Another bike safety rule is never riding on sidewalks. This is not only against the law but it’s dangerous. You could hit and injure the pedestrians using the sidewalk. You could also get hit by a vehicle while exiting the sidewalk onto the main road as they won’t see you coming from the sidewalk.
Riding against traffic is against the law and you are more likely to get hit. This is because motorists are not looking out for you or expecting any traffic to come from your direction. Riding the wrong way is three times as dangerous as cycling the right way and 7 times more dangerous for child cyclists.
One of the most dangerous places for a cyclist to stop is on the right of a large vehicle at a red light. The driver won’t see you and when the light turns green they can end up crushing you if they turn right. As a rule, always make sure that you are visible to motorists and that you don’t stop or ride on their blind spots.
Another rule to stay safe as a cyclist is never overtake to the right of other road users. They may end up moving to their right too and crushing you.
Finally, make sure that you always wear a bright reflector jacket, whether in the daytime or nighttime. This will improve your visibility and prevent you from getting hit.
Cycling can be part of a sustainable fitness plan but can turn fatal if road bike safety rules are not followed. For more tips on healthy living, read the rest of our blog.