Knowing how to ride a bike is a very interesting skill as not only is biking a good mode of transportation, but good exercise as well. Regardless of how you use a bike, however, going out of the house for a considerable distance makes you prone to bike accidents, and they pose a grave threat to you.
According to data from the World Health Organization, around 1.25 million people actually die annually due to road traffic accidents. Of this number, half of the accidents involve “vulnerable road users” such as pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Outside those statistics, 20 to 50 million more who survive said crashes may have other injuries or gain a disability as a result of the incident. As such, it’s important to always be aware of best practices on bike safety to ensure you’re safe from accidents. Here’s how:
- Make sure you studied your route ahead of time, and you did your research. Regardless if you’re going to work, going to workout, or going to do a grocery run, make sure you’re aware of what you’re planning to do and the routes involved in doing them. This allows you to be extra wary of your surroundings and assess head on what sort of path you’re going to take and avoid traffic when they’re there. This can help you avoid a lot of hassles in the future.
- Make sure you are ready to ride the bicycle. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be an expert biker, but rather you have to make sure you have the bare essentials ready. For instance, has your bike been adjusted to fit the circumstances of the trip? Are you sure the saddle is just in the right position to make you feel comfortable? Make sure your wheels and your brakes are fine and good to go, and make sure that your wheels that are “quick release” are secured properly.
- Make sure you know all laws on traffic and you know the basic gestures involved in making signals. Try to study and be updated on all the rules of traffic, as you have to follow them just like any other motor vehicle. You also have to be aware of the various hand signs you should do in order to let other bicyclists and drivers know where you’re going. Don’t ever assume that vehicles will stop, so make sure you do, look at them and make eye contact, and then move on.
- Make sure you stay visible and you act like a car. A lot of bicyclists weave in and out of the roads when there’s no traffic, but never do this on a busy street. Try to be as predictable as a rider as possible so you can be much safer in traffic. Make sure you are visible as well, as this means drivers are less likely to hit you accidentally. Use lights in low light conditions and at night, and make sure you wear vibrant and/or reflective clothing to ensure you’re seen.
- Make sure you’re alert and you don’t get distracted. Make sure you don’t talk on the phone or listen to music while riding your bike, so you can focus. Make sure you’re always alert and on the lookout for obstacles that might be in your way.
Remember, when it comes to bicycle accidents, it’s important to always be aware of every circumstance. While accidents do happen at random, and you may barely be able to prevent it while it’s happening. It’s still helpful if you know how to ensure safety on your end through the above best practices. If you need legal assistance on such preparation, you can also click here to learn more about the legalities of bike safety.