The sight of a lone bicycle in the middle of a busy road or highway is terrifying for motorists and passengers alike. Bikes are a quick and cheap way to travel from point A to point B, and can even go to places where regular vehicles cannot. However, its ease of use has also led to a sense of complacency, especially when it comes to cycling safety.
Road accidents involving bikes are on the rise and both cyclists and motorists equally share the blame. Motorists like to pretend that they have control of the roadways, while cyclists are notorious for darting in and out of traffic without regard for other people.
While you can always call a bicycle accident lawyer to deal with mishaps, these occurrences have become common enough that they demand closer attention. Cyclists have to exercise caution to keep themselves, other motorists, and pedestrians safe from untoward accidents.
Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe while using a bike:
1. Practice often
Bikes are technically classified as vehicles but don’t undergo the same scrutiny as engine-powered automobiles. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t test your bike before cycling in the open. Practice using a bike under a variety of conditions. You want to feel confident enough to take it out in public. Doing this can help keep yourself as well as other motorists safe.
Avoid cycling near obstructions such as street signs, light poles, traffic boxes. Be mindful of nearby motorists and pedestrians while using your bike. Biking without going for a test drive first puts yourself and others in serious danger.
2. Choose the right bike for your needs
There are many types of bicycles available on the market, so you need to choose the best one for your needs. Consult with your primary care provider first to check if you are capable of long-term use in high-traffic situations. Depending on your jurisdiction, you need to have good sight, concentration, upper-body strength, balance, and coordination.
Be honest with your physician about your capabilities and limitations. Lying about your capabilities and limitations is extremely dangerous and can cause accidents.
3. Know traffic rules
Many bike models are capable of moving at high speeds, but you should always keep in mind that few situations require cycling at the top setting. You also need to learn local traffic rules and regulations regarding bike use. Some jurisdictions have speed limits specifically targeted at cyclists. It is also illegal to drive a vehicle, including bikes, while intoxicated. Know the rules and follow them.
4. Wear a helmet
This is one of the most important safety rules you need to remember. Many cyclists have died due to traffic collisions and the most common cause is head trauma. Protect yourself while cycling by wearing a helmet, especially if you’re on a public road.
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your safety is to keep your bicycle in top condition. Perform regular preventive maintenance on your bike. A cycling specialist can ensure that the tires are in good condition, the lights and reflectors are working correctly, and the gears are properly lubricated.