Cycling can be a great cardiovascular activity for all the family, yet if you or a member of your family regularly cycle on a busy road, you must avoid unwanted injuries on a bike. If you are looking for the best ways to care for yourself or your loved ones, read the following informative tips on how cyclists can best protect themselves.
Only Ride with Traffic
According to reports, 1,011 pedal cyclists are either killed or seriously injured per billion vehicle miles, which is in comparison to 26 car drivers. Cyclists must, therefore, be meticulous when cycling on the road. If you choose to cycle in the street, it is smarter to ride with the traffic. Cycling against the flow can be incredibly dangerous, as the impact would be much greater in the event of a head-on collision.
Use the Right Cycling Gear
If you or a loved one enjoy cycling, it is important to wear the right cycling gear. A bike helmet can ultimately increase the likelihood of your recovery following a crash. You’ll also need to wear light clothing to ensure you are visible to others when on the road, which can reduce the chances of a collision. Don’t forget to install a front lamp and reflectors on both the pedals and read of a bike, especially if you plan to cycle after dark.
Maintain your safety on the road by staying continually alert on your bicycle, especially if on a bike ride with children, as most accidents can occur due to sudden doors opening, sideswipes, left crosses, right hooks, and drive-outs. It can happen when a car does not see a bicycle in its path. It is, therefore, your responsibility to pay close attention to your surroundings, so watch for drivers in parked vehicles, brake lights, turning signals and any other potential dangers that could suddenly occur.
Know When to Use the Middle Lane
US law requires cyclists to cycle as far to the right as possible when on the road. However, there might be some situations when you should attempt to use the middle lane instead. For example, you should use the middle when trying to avoid an unsafe condition, when you are preparing to make a left turn, or when you’re passing another moving vehicle. You should also use the middle lane if you cannot safely share the right lane with another car, or if you’re traveling at the same speed as other cars.
While cars can pose a risk to cyclists on the road, cyclists can also pose a risk to drivers. While you might not have the distractions of passengers breaking your concentration, you might make listening to music with headphones part of a cycling routine. While this can be a good source of entertainment and motivation, you must be aware it can also be a distraction, as you will be less likely to be aware of your surroundings. In addition, you should avoid eating and drinking when cycling to ensure that both your hands are firmly in control of your bicycle. If you need a refreshment, pull your bike over to enjoy a bite to eat or drink of water, so you’ll have the fuel you need to carry on.
Protect Yourself from Negligent Driving
Of course, not all collisions that might happen on the road will necessarily be your fault. You could be a great cyclist and still collide with a moving vehicle, as there are unfortunately many negligent drivers on the road. While it’s important to be alert, there might be some accidents that are unavoidable, yet you can seek compensation if you’re the victim of a bicycle accident. An injury lawyer can help you secure the compensation you need to cover the cost of medical bills, loss of income, and a new bicycle.
Know the Correct Signals to Use
Unlike with cars, you will not be able to rely on flashing lights to indicate your intentions on the road. Ensure your safety by learning the correct hand signals to use when cycling. For example, you must put your left hand down to your side when you’re attempting to stop or slow down. If you’re planning to perform a left turn, always place your left hand all the way out to your left. However, if you want to make a right turn, simply hold your left arm out at a 90-degree angle, so your elbow is out, and your hand is pointing in an upwards direction, so it is visible to a driver.
Always Be Aware of Intersections
The intersection is incredibly dangerous for cyclists, as cars will be moving from four different directions. All drivers and cyclists will also want to move through the green light before it changes to red, and different vehicles may attempt to quickly change lanes, even if they are not illegally allowed to do so. It can, therefore, be a risky location for cyclists. Regardless of whether you cycle with friends, family, or alone, you must always approach a busy intersection with caution. Slow down your speed as you reach an intersection and always indicate to drivers as soon as possible if you plan to make a turn to prevent an accident.
Make Eye Contact with Drivers
Of course, if you want to ensure your safety on the road, always attempt to make eye contact with a driver, so they can acknowledge your existence before you make a sudden move. Doing this can provide the reassurance you need to move without fear when changing lanes, passing vehicles or another action.
There are multiple dangers when cycling on the road. Even if you only plan to cycle across the neighborhood or to your local park, you must be aware of the dangers and the correct signals to use when you and your cycling are enjoying a family bike ride. The above tips could help to keep you and your loved ones safe and visible to other drivers, which can reduce the likelihood of an accident, so you can simply enjoy some physical activity in the great outdoors.