In recent years, bicycles have become increasingly popular among people of all ages. Not only are they used for transportation, but riding them is also one of the best forms of exercise both for the young and old. Furthermore, they’ve become common in the world of sports, including marathons and triathlons.
Bikes are easy to operate, it doesn’t cost a lot to maintain them, and you don’t need a license to ride one around the city. Overall, they’re a budget-friendly option when it comes to transportation and the need for physical activity.
Despite all of that, bicycles are also one of the leading causes of injuries, fatalities, and road accidents. Although riding one is fun and healthy, it comes with certain risks. Thousands of bicycle accidents are reported each year. Here’s a great post to read about a bicycle accident that caused one casualty in a city. Incidents like this should serve as a reminder of how important it is to be alert at all times while cycling.
There are many ways to prevent bicycle accidents, but precaution is not always enough since reckless drivers are rampant nowadays. For your part, you need to be aware of how you can stay safe when biking on main roads. Here are some of the safety tips you must remember in order to avoid bike accidents:
1. Use The Right Size Of Bike
The first step to ensure safety during your cycling sessions is to ride the right size of bike. If you use a bike that’s too big or too small for you, you’ll have a hard time controlling and handling it properly. Thus, when you shop around for a new bike, check the brand’s bike size chart, which should help you determine the proper size for your height.
As a general guide when inspecting bikes, make sure you can place both of your feet flat on the ground when the bike is between your legs, and there should be two inches of space between your groin and the bike seat. If you’re unsure about which bike suits you, don’t hesitate to consult a salesperson and ask them to assist you.
2. Double-Check Your Brakes
This is one of the most important precautions you must never miss before getting on the road. Among the leading causes of bicycle accidents are faulty brakes, which could lead to impactful crashes.
So before anything else, do a short test ride to see if the brakes are working properly. Alternatively, you can use your hands to spin the wheels and try pressing on the brakes. If you spot any issues, take your time to adjust and fix them. Make sure you complete this brake test for both the back and front wheels.
3. Use Headlights
Headlights were not invented for four-wheeled vehicles and motorcycles alone. It’s equally essential for bicyclists to attach them to their bikes for safety purposes. They can be used to signal on the road, and when biking at night, they help ensure that other drivers on the road can see you on the bike lane. Just like with brakes, don’t forget to check your headlights before you go somewhere on your bike.
4. Always Wear Your Helmet
If there’s one piece of gear you should have on your when biking, it’s your helmet. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of severely injuring your head and neck in case of crashes and collisions.
In the event you’re involved in a bicycle accident, don’t reuse your helmet if it’s severely damaged since it can no longer protect your head from any sort of impact. After all, helmets are designed to crack under severe impact in order to protect your head, particular your skull.
In most countries, wearing a helmet is one of the laws that bicycle and motorcycle riders have to abide by. Failure to do so may result in the issuance of a traffic ticket or a corresponding fine, depending on the number of offenses.
5. Never Ride With Headphones On
A lot of people enjoy going for a bicycle ride with music blasting in their ears. Music can make you feel relaxed and energized, and sometimes it serves as a good distraction so you won’t think about the long distance you’re traveling. Unfortunately, it also poses a great risk.
Since you’ll be half focused on the music, your senses may have a hard time processing everything going on around you, and your brain might not be able to detect any incoming hazards right away. You may also fail to hear car horns, the engines of cars beside you, people yelling, and sirens from ambulances or fire trucks.
Regardless if you’re biking on quiet roads, it’s still important for you to watch for any incoming vehicles or people from behind that could threaten your safety. You can easily put yourself in harm’s way when you choose to wear headphones while biking. Thus, it’s strongly recommended that you leave them at home or keep them inside your bag and focus on the road instead. You can listen to your favorite songs when you arrive at your destination in one piece.
6. Keep Your Hands On The Handlebars At All Times
It’s common for some bicyclists to do tricks such as riding with one hand on the handlebar or none at all. There are also some who do this not for fun but for the sake of holding a cup of coffee, a grocery bag, or worse, their phone.
Riding with only one hand controlling the handlebar will put you at risk of crashing or colliding with other road users. That’s because it’s hard to stay balanced on a bike that way. You may also get injured due to road hazards like potholes, uneven pavements, and large rocks you might not notice are in your way.
For those reasons, place both of your hands on the handlebars, regardless of the circumstances or how confident you are about your biking skills. Accidents can happen anytime, so it’s best to stay safe and take precautions rather than regret your actions later.
The Bottom Line
Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you and the people around you stay safe while you’re biking on the road. However, even if you’re a responsible biker, some may be the exact opposite. The best thing you can do is not to contribute to the number of careless bikers out there and do your part to prevent bicycle accidents in the future.