Cycling is an efficient and healthy way to travel. Bicycles cost very little to operate and allow you to exercise while heading to work, school, or to run errands. However, hundreds of thousands of bicycle accidents are reported each year, and you may be concerned about being involved in one yourself. You may not be able to prevent every bicycle-related incident, but the following safety tips may allow you to stay safer while sharing the road with vehicles.
Wear a Helmet
The average New Jersey bicycle accident lawyer sees many bicycle accident victims, and some of those victims are thankful they chose to wear a helmet when they ended up in their unfortunate accident.
However, not all cyclists do wear helmets, and not wearing one may increase your risk of a severe head or neck injury if you collide with a vehicle. According to studies, head and neck injuries were the primary reason for ICU stays after a bicycle-related accident. Of the over 76,000 cyclists with those injuries, just 22% wore helmets.
Helmets are affordable to buy and comfortable to wear. They may not prevent an accident, but they may reduce your risk of serious injury if you are involved in one.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It can be tempting to wear headphones while riding your bicycle to listen to music on your journey, but you risk missing important sounds that indicate trouble. Just as vehicle operators should be entirely aware of their surroundings, so should cyclists. Save your music for when your bicycle commute comes to an end.
Ride With a Friend
If you’re going out for a leisurely ride to enjoy nature and exercise, consider inviting a friend along for the ride. Not only can it be nice to spend time with friends, but two cyclists on the road are more visible than one. If you end up in an accident, you will also have someone who knows you to manage the emergency response process.
Wear Bright and Reflective Clothing
The small profile of cyclists can be hard for drivers to see if they aren’t paying close attention. However, if you’re wearing reflective clothing and bright colors, you may be more visible on the road.
Most cycle businesses stock a range of suitable clothing and accessories to help you remain visible. You can then change out of your cycling gear when you reach your destination.
Install Rear-View Mirrors
Rear-view mirrors are convenient safety features in cars and on motorbikes, so it makes sense for them to be practical additions on a bicycle. You can purchase bicycle-friendly rear-view mirrors for easy attachment to your handlebars, and these help you see what’s behind you with a quick glance.
You should always double-check by looking over your shoulder, but they can be a practical way to know with certainty that you’re safe to turn, change lanes, move into a parking space, or perform other maneuvers.
As convenient and fun as cycling can be, it can also be dangerous. Some of these safety tips above may allow you to remain safer on the road so that you can enjoy a memorable riding experience for all the right reasons.