Bicycle Safety: How to Stay Safe on the Road as a Bicyclist
Bicyclists are some of the most vulnerable travelers on the road because they are left largely unprotected if they are involved in an accident. While bikes have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as do cars, in many cases drivers fail to recognize this or fail to notice bicyclists on the road altogether.
If you are riding a bicycle for fun or for transportation, you know that it is an activity that requires you to have extra attention and care in order to be safe. There are many mistakes that are made by cyclists every day that put them in potential danger. Learn what these are so that you can avoid doing them.
Bicyclists must be constantly vigilant on the road and always be ready to act at a moment’s notice to avoid a potential danger.
Some of the Common Hazards That Bicyclists Must Cope with Include:
Parked cars, trash cans, and debris can all block a cyclist’s path in the bike lane or the right lane of a road. Potholes, cracks, grates, and gutters can also be extremely dangerous if a cyclist’s wheel is caught.
On rainy days or in areas that have been freshly watered, roads can be slick. Many bikes have small brake pads and thin tires that may lose their grip in wet weather.
Some drivers do not properly look for bicyclists on the road, even when the cyclist is clearly obvious to others. Some of these drivers are distracted because they are talking on the phone, texting, conversing with someone in the car, or adjusting the radio.
Some drivers notice bikes but fail to act safely around them. They may tailgate, cut in front, pass too closely, or otherwise endanger cyclists.
The First Issue Is a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is obviously safer than not wearing one. One huge mistake that many make when wearing a helmet is having it too far back on the head. This is an issue because if you do get in a wreck, you need the helmet to be protecting the front of the head as well. If it’s too far back, your forehead is more exposed which can lead to similar damage as if you didn’t have a helmet on in the first place. Don’t go through the effort of wearing one and not getting full advantage of it.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
A second mistake is not carefully studying the common bicycle accidents that occur. You need to be more aware than the average drivers when cycling on the roads. There are many common accidents that occur. If you have this knowledge, you will know what to do in many situations where other cyclists have become injured or even killed.
While many like riding with an MP3 player, this isn’t the best practice when out on the roads. If you are on a bike trail that is not too crowded, listening to music shouldn’t be a problem. However, on the road, you need to use your ears to be more aware of what is going on around you for your own personal safety.
It is therefore important for bicyclists to make themselves as visible as possible and to take preventative steps to ensure their own safety. Knowing how to safely use the road is a key part of minimizing the threat of an accident.
Make sure your bicycle is a proper fit for your body!
You don’t want to develop back or wrist problems because your weight isn’t distributed evenly like it should be. Go to a bike shop and have them help you adjust the bike to a better position for you.
If you suffer an accident, you’ll want to talk to a lawyer. Call us!