Cycling is a popular and eco-friendly mode of transportation and recreation. Unfortunately, riding a bike also carries safety risks, especially while on the road.
Brushing up on important bike safety tips can help you avoid serious injury.
Wear a helmet
Always wear a properly fitted helmet when cycling. It significantly reduces the risk of head injuries in case of a fall or collision. Make sure it meets safety standards. When you put it on it should fasten securely under your chin.
Perform a bike check
Before heading out, inspect your bicycle. Check the tires for proper inflation, ensure the brakes work and confirm that the gears shift smoothly. A well-maintained bike is safer and more efficient.
Follow traffic rules
In most areas, it’s safer to ride on the road rather than the sidewalk, as drivers are more likely to see you. If you must ride on the sidewalk, do so cautiously and yield to pedestrians.
When riding on the road, bicyclists must follow the same traffic rules as motorists. You have to stop at stop signs, obey traffic signals, use hand signals for turns and yield the right of way when necessary. Be predictable and make sure drivers can anticipate your movements.
Whenever possible, ride in designated bike lanes or on bike paths. These dedicated areas provide a safer space for cyclists away from motorized traffic.
Make sure motorists and pedestrians can see you. Use front and rear lights when riding at dawn, dusk or after dark. Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective gear at night. Reflectors on your bike are also essential for visibility.
Watch for dangers
Keep an eye out for road hazards like potholes, gravel, or debris. Avoid sudden swerves and, if safe, signal to others behind you when you need to move around an obstacle.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that California has more than 100 fatal cycling accidents every year. By riding safely, you can enjoy the many benefits of biking while reducing the risk of accidents.