If you’ve made the environmentally friendly decision to ride a bike instead of driving everywhere then you’ve just reduced your C02 emissions by almost 2000%. Choosing to cycle to and from your daily destinations is becoming the popular thing to do, but it does have it’s risks.
In 2018 there were 1024 cyclists killed in the US and almost 300,000 non-fatal accidents. To keep yourself safe let’s take a look at 6 important cycling tips to ensure that your eco-friendly commute is kept incident-free.
1. Always Wear a Helmet
Let’s start with the obvious. One global study found that wearing a helmet can reduce your chances of serious head injury by almost 70%. When you are out cycling on the road your safety is not always entirely in your hands. Always make sure you’re wearing a helmet just in case you’re hit by a car.
2. Stay Visible
Even if you’re cycling in broad daylight on a clear sunny day, you must make yourself as visible as possible. Wear bright-colored, fluorescent, or reflective clothing and make sure your bike is fitted with appropriate reflectors.
If you are cycling at night or in poor visibility you should use a white lamp at the front of the bike and a red light at the rear.
3. Keep Your Distance
If anything happens when you’re cycling then your ability to react quickly is paramount to avoiding road bike accidents. One of the best things you can do to improve your chances is to keep your distance from any vehicles in front of you. This means that if they should need to brake suddenly you’re not going to ride straight into the back of them.
4. Keep to the Right
One of the most common causes of fatal accidents is cars turning left at T-junctions and not the drivers not noticing that a cyclist is overtaking them. As a general rule, keeping to the right side of the road means that other vehicles can safely overtake you. If you’re in urban areas with a lot of parked cars then do be careful of weary of ‘car-dooring’.
5. Pay Attention
Paying attention and staying as alert as possible is key. You’re on a bike so you’re a lot smaller than other vehicles, this means it’s much easier for you to fall into other road user’s blind spots. It’s up to you to be aware.
Avoid cycling with headphones in or using your mobile phone while cycling. Anything that blocks your senses or might distract you from the road could be the difference between getting home safely and a trip to accident and emergency.
6. Regularly Check Your Bike
You should carry out regular maintenance checks on your bike every day before you start riding. Check your tire pressure and make sure that both breaks are functioning properly. Oil any moving parts regularly and always check that your bike chain is suitably tight with no visible rust.
Never Forget These Cycling Tips
Following these cycling tips as well as adhering to other rules of the road is the best way to keep your bike rides incident-free. More and more states are becoming cycle-friendly, but it’s still important to keep your wits about you and stay vigilant when out on your bike.
Be sure to check out the rest of your articles for more on leading a healthy and incident-free life!