Biking is a great activity, whether for fun or as a form of working out. However, as much fun as it is, it can also be dangerous. From getting hit by a car to falling off your bike, there are plenty of ways to get hurt while riding, especially if you bike in the streets. The roads’ traffic and condition can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to know how to bike safely on the streets. To help you stay safe on the roads, here are a few key tips:
Wear Bright and Visible Clothing
When riding your bike in the streets, ensure you’re as visible as possible. Wear bright and reflective clothing so that drivers can see you. You can also buy reflective gear such as vests, helmets, and even bikes to make yourself more visible in the dark. When choosing the right clothes, you want to ensure they’re not too loose. Loose clothing can get caught in the wheels or chain and cause you to fall. Also, avoid wearing anything that will obscure your vision, such as sunglasses or a hat.
It is a no-brainer that you need a helmet when you’re riding a bike. A helmet can protect your head in case of an accident. When choosing a helmet, ensure it fits snugly on your head and is the right size. You also want to ensure that the helmet has a reflective strip so drivers can see you.
Follow the Rules of the Road
You’re not driving a car, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the rules. Obey traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs just like you would if you were driving a car. Not following the rules of the road is one of the quickest ways to get into an accident. By following the rules, you’re keeping yourself safe and making it easier for drivers to predict your behavior. If you get into an accident while riding on the streets, you can bring a bicycle accident case against the responsible party. A reputable accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Ride in the Direction of Traffic
You should always ride in the same direction as the cars are going. This may seem common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people ride against traffic. Riding against traffic is extremely dangerous because drivers aren’t expecting you to be coming from that direction.
If riding on the sidewalk, be extra careful of cars pulling out of driveways or turning at intersections. Make sure to yield to pedestrians who have the right of way.
Use Hand Signals
Ensure to use hand signals when you’re about to turn or stop. Hand signals let drivers know what you’re about to do so that they can be prepared. Not using hand signals is one of the leading causes of accidents involving cyclists and vehicles. It is vital to use hand signals at night. Since drivers have a harder time seeing you, they’re more likely to appreciate the heads-up.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When riding in the streets, pay attention to the cars around you and be prepared to react if someone does something unexpected. You also want to be aware of the road conditions. Avoid potholes, cracks, and other obstacles that could cause you to lose control of your bike. If you have to ride on a patch of gravel or sand, go slowly and avoid sudden movements. Remember, pedestrians are also part of your surroundings. Be cautious when passing them and yield to them if they have the right of way.
Use the Bike Lane
Whenever possible, you should use the bike lane. Bike lanes are there for a reason, and they’re much safer than riding in the middle of the road. Bike lanes give you a dedicated space to ride and help drivers know where to expect cyclists. That being said, there are some situations where it’s better to ride out of the bike lane. If the bike lane is obstructed or has a pothole, you should ride in the main part of the road. If you have to ride in the middle of the road, make sure to ride as close to the edge as possible and use hand signals to let drivers know where you’re going.
Biking on the streets can be dangerous, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these simple safety tips can minimize the risk of an accident. However, even the safest cyclists can still get into accidents. If you do get into an accident, make sure to call a bicycle accident attorney right away.