Only a small percentage of the population rides a bike. People ride it for leisure, out in the woods, and some use it to commute to work or the grocery store. While bicycles are one of the simplest means of transportation, it doesn’t negate the need for care and caution when riding.
Bicycle accidents are common, and there have been thousands of deaths linked to bicycle accidents. This calls for caution and utmost care when riding a bicycle. A cyclist can do various things to avoid bicycle accidents, from ensuring you have a high-quality and functional bicycle to using the proper protective gear.
Habits such as the lane used, weather at the time of riding, distractions, etc., could be responsible for bicycle accidents. This article will explore various ways one can avoid bike accidents:
Ensure You have a functional Mirror
The mirror on your bicycle is not meant for decoration. It is one of the simplest elements to enhance your safety while riding. While riding, there is a low tendency to be hit from behind, yet it is good to know what’s going on behind you.
While riding, you need not constantly look into the mirror but once in a while. However, the mirror will come in handy in a sudden situation when a vehicle suddenly passes by you without much space between. While riding, such a situation can be nerve-wracking, making one lose control.
Having a functional bike mirror can help avoid such a situation.
Ride a Bicycle of the Right Size
Riding the right size bike is the best way to ensure you are safe on the highways. If your bicycle is either too small or too big, it will affect your ability to control and maneuver it properly while riding.
Bicycles come in different sizes and are classified based on height. So, for someone looking for a new bike, try and explore the manufacturer’s sizing chart. You will access a list of various bike sizes from such a chart alongside the accompanying height measurement.
A rule of thumb is that one should easily be able to stand on the bike with the feet flat on the ground. Also, there should be around two inches of space between the groin and the bike seat. Ensure you discuss with the bike salesperson for recommendations on the best size before buying.
Invest in Cycling Gear that Makes You Visible
Visibility is essential, so that fellow road users will see you distinctly to avoid a collision, especially when riding at night. This can only happen when you invest in the highly visible cloth covering the entire body. The helmet, jersey, ankle, and led gear needs to be brightly colored, preferably glowing with fluorescent. This makes it pretty much visible compared to standard colors.
All body parts, including the legs and ankles, also need visibility. Such visibility will make it easier for other road users to see the motion of the turning pedals. This limits the chances of a driver getting close, let alone hitting you.
In addition to visibility, light is essential on your bicycle. You might need to ride at night, which necessitates the need for a bright white flashing light on your front and a red light at your back. The lights increase your visibility, so other drivers see you. You shouldn’t only restrict the use of such light to nighttime, but the day as well.
You can invest in other visibility products like bike flags and others.
Never Ride Without a Helmet
Bicycle helmet law is common in the United States and varies depending on the state and the cyclist’s age. In Tennessee, for instance, wearing a helmet is optional as long as you are above 16. Younger people, however, are bound by the law to use it.
However, wearing a helmet can reduce accidents and injuries from bike accidents, no matter the age. According to statistics, a helmet also reduces the chances of a severe head injury by 50%. Further research revealed that a helmet would reduce the chances of neck and face injury by 33%.
Regardless of your age and state, wearing a helmet is a good call while riding. It can save your life while riding, reducing the chances of developing a severe complication should there be an accident.
Also, if there is an accident, a helmet usually takes a brutal hit, making it necessary not to continue using it. Such a hard hit can trigger cracks, reducing the tendency of offering maximum protection to the head in the case of an impact.
While you can do many things to protect yourself when riding a bike, this article has explored the essential tips to avoid errors that could trigger an accident while riding on the road.
Riding a bike is inherently dangerous, but you can reduce the risk with the tips discussed in this article.