Cycling is an enjoyable and inexpensive means of transport, but it can also be dangerous, as it involves riding on the road alongside fast-moving cars. According to the NHTSA, over 1,260 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2020 alone, accounting for more than 3 percent of total traffic fatalities in the U.S.
Therefore, when cycling, you must make personal efforts to ensure you and everyone else stays safe on the road. This article will explore ways cyclists can reduce the risk of injury on the road.
You Need an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney if a Driver Hits You
Cyclists and motorists can be at fault when bicycle accidents happen. But when you get involved in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may qualify for financial compensation.
However, to pursue maximum compensation after a bicycle accident, you need to hire an experienced bicycle injury lawyer. A qualified bicycle injury lawyer will not only help you handle settlement negotiations but will also represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
Five Ways Cyclists Can Reduce the Risk of Injury When Cycling
1. Obey Traffic Rules
Following traffic rules is the simplest way to reduce your risk of injury. Therefore, you should always cycle with the traffic flow, stop at red lights, and use appropriate hand signals when turning.
Some areas may require you to use freeways, while others, such as urban centers, may require you to use a bicycle lane or bike path. So, before you hit the road, familiarize yourself with local regulations that apply to cyclists.
2. Enhance Your Visibility on a Bike
Unlike vehicles, bicycles are small and can be difficult for motorists to spot, especially at night or in a misty atmosphere. Luckily, you can take some helpful steps to improve your visibility on the road.
Wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing is an excellent place to start. You can also get specialized lights on your bike to make it easy for motorists to see you at night.
3. Choose the Right Bike
The size and shape of a bicycle can make a big difference. Choosing the right bike for your height, shape, and style can make your ride safer, more comfortable, and more fun.
Ideally, when choosing a bike, you should ensure there is enough space between the top tube and seat to avoid bending over too much while riding. You should also be able to place both feet flat on the ground when sitting in a normal position on your bike.
Lastly, ensure your bike tires are suitable for the road you’ll be taking. While narrow road bikes are appropriate for smooth roads, wide mountain bikes ride well on rough terrains.
4. Wear a Good-Fitting Helmet
While helmets cannot prevent accidents, they can significantly lower the risk of head injuries in the event of a crash by absorbing much of the impact. But all helmets are not made equal, so you will want to pick a DOT-approved option.
More importantly, ensure the helmet you pick fits you properly. Strap it tightly enough on both sides so it won’t move in a crash but loose enough that you don’t feel too much pressure.
5. Check Your Bike Before You Ride
Whether you are cycling for fun or as an expert rider, you should always inspect your bike before hitting the road. Tires are an essential element of your bike, so check to ensure they have the proper pressure and adjust it to the right level, depending on the road you’ll be riding on.
You should also test your brakes to confirm if they are working correctly. The best way to do this is by spinning your bike’s wheels while you apply the front and rear brakes.
Lastly, lube the chain and other moving parts of your bike to ensure everything is running smoothly.