Riding a bike can be an exhilarating and eco-friendly way to commute or simply enjoy the great outdoors. However, sharing the road with vehicles can be risky if you don’t take proper precautions! To ensure your safety while cycling, here’s a list of the best ways to protect yourself when riding a bike on the road.
Wear the right gear
One of the most crucial aspects of cycling safety is wearing the right gear. Always wear a well-fitted helmet to protect your head in case of an accident, and choose brightly colored clothing and reflective accessories to enhance your visibility to drivers, especially in low-light conditions. Proper footwear and gloves can also provide better control and comfort during your ride.
Maintain your bike
Regular bike maintenance is essential to ensure it functions smoothly and safely. So check your brakes, tires, and gears before each ride. Ensure your bike’s lights, reflectors, and bell are working properly. Keeping your bike in top shape reduces the risk of accidents caused by mechanical failures.
Follow traffic rules
Bicycles are considered vehicles, and as such, you must follow the same traffic rules as cars and motorcycles. For instance, you should always ride in the same direction as traffic, obey traffic signals and signs, and use hand signals to indicate your turns. Stopping at stop signs and yielding the right of way are crucial for your safety and the safety of others.
Also, in the event that you need to make a cyclist accident claim, you can at least show that you were following the rules and doing all that you can to avoid an accident!
Predictability is key to road safety, so avoid sudden swerves or erratic movements and signal your intentions clearly, whether you’re changing lanes, turning, or stopping. Maintain a straight and steady line while riding to make it easier for drivers to anticipate your actions.
Stay in your lane
When cycling on the road, it’s important to stay in your designated lane or bike lane whenever possible. This helps drivers know where to expect you and reduces the risk of collisions. If no bike lane is available, ride as far to the right as is safe, but maintain a buffer from parked cars to avoid the ‘door zone.’
Visibility is crucial for your safety, so you should equip your bike with front and rear lights, even during daylight hours. Reflectors on your wheels, pedals, and clothing can also increase your visibility from all angles.
Be mindful of road conditions
Keep an eye on the road conditions and adjust your riding accordingly. Wet or icy roads can be slippery, so reduce your speed and increase your following distance. Be cautious around road hazards like potholes, debris, or gravel, as they can cause you to lose control.
Installing mirrors on your bike can significantly improve your awareness of your surroundings. These mirrors can help you monitor traffic behind you without having to turn your head, allowing you to react quickly to potential dangers.
Just as distracted driving can be dangerous, distracted cycling poses risks as well. Avoid being on your phone, headphones, or any other distractions while you ride. Concentrate on the road ahead and your surroundings to react to any sudden changes or hazards. Stay safe!