The Dos And Don’ts Of Bicycle Safety
The summer sun is out and there has never been a better time to hop on your bicycle! However, before you get too ahead of yourself, here are some basic safety tips you should keep in mind while on the road.
DO: Follow The Rules Of The Road
While this may seem like an obvious one, it is still important for you to obey all traffic signs and signals when on the road. That means that a cyclist must still follow the same laws that you would expect an automobile driver to follow such as stopping at stop signs, signaling when turning, and riding at the proper speed limit.
DON’T: Ride Your Bicycle Without A Helmet
This should always be the first and foremost rule that you follow while cycling, even if you are only planning to ride around the block. A helmet is the only thing that can come between your head and the ground when an accident happens. If you still are not buying it, then you should keep in mind that the number one cause of death in bicycle accidents are head injuries.
It is also important to remember that not just any helmet will do. Your helmet needs to fit snugly on your head with a properly tightened chin strap. If any part of the helmet is cracked, loose, or worn down, it cannot protect you properly and you should purchase a new one before hopping back on your bicycle.
DO: Make Yourself Visible To Others
There are many states that have begun enforcing cyclists to wear a visible white headlight that will be seen from at least 500 feet ahead and a rear reflector that can be visible from at least 300 feet away. Whether it is a law or not, it is still highly recommended that you follow those guidelines. If you are cycling in the evening or in weather conditions with limited visibility, then you should also wear bright clothing so that drivers will easily be able to spot you on the road.
DON’T: Assume That Drivers Will Notice You
While you should make it as easy as you can for other drivers to notice you on the road, you should never assume that a driver can see you. Most drivers are not going to be on the lookout for bicycles and unlike a vehicle, a bicycle is quite small in size making it hard to notice. This is why you need to ride defensively, use proper hand signals, and be extra cautious of your surroundings. Installing a rear view mirror on your handle bar or helmet can also be helpful.
DO: Stay Alert While Cycling
There are various things on the road that can be a hazard to a cyclist. That is why you need to focus on your surroundings and be on the lookout for potential dangers such as gravel, debris, wet roads, pot holes, and more. This also means that you should not ride while distracted. Wearing headphones or talking on your mobile phone while cycling will make it impossible for you to be aware of what is happening around you.