All road users including cyclists need to respect each other in order to enhance safe transportation. Bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as the motorized vehicles, and thus have to respect the traffic rules.
Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has indicated that most of the cyclist-related accidents are caused by cyclists over 15 years of age. According to this study, most the cyclists assume that they are used to riding bikes, and hence are less prone to being involved in road accidents.
The most important gear is the bike itself. Therefore it’s prudent to make sure the bike is road ready and of the right size. For example, the tube ought to be about two inches below your bottom when straddling it and about five inches for mountain bikes. The pedal should be at its lowest position when your knee is slightly bent. Before every ride, you should check the pressure of tires and stability of the brakes.
7 Bike safety tips for adults
- Avoid riding against traffic- the law and common sense require that you ride like other vehicles because most drivers are never keen on looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road.
- Obey traffic signs- follow the signs, lane markings, and signals just like other vehicles. For instance, it’s wrong to go on a straight lane that has been marked ‘right-turn only’ or pass on the right assuming other road users are seeing you.
- Scan the road-if you’re not using rear-view mirrors, always scan the road behind you over your shoulder before turning without losing your balance.
- Wear helmets- wear a helmet and avoid using headphones while riding a bike.
- Dress properly- opt for bright colored clothing and plan before for changing temperatures.
- Use signals- make eye contact and signal to drivers and pedestrians for every road user’s safety to show them what you intend to do as a matter of courtesy.
- Bike classes- Bike Commuting 101 classes can come in handy in helping you learn more about riding a bike safely.
10 Bicycle safety rules on the road
- Protect your head-You must protect your head by wearing a helmet.
- Act like a vehicle- you must follow all traffic rules so as drivers can notice you just as they can notice other drivers patterns. Don’t weave in and out of traffic unpredictably.
- Avoid distractions- you must not talk over the phone or listen to music when riding a bike.
- Stay visible- you must ensure other road users can see you so that they are less likely to hit you. Ensure you use lights when riding in low light conditions or at night.
- Use signals- you must make eye contact with drivers and use signals to show what you intend to do before turning.
- Obey traffic laws and lights.
- Stay alerted- you must look out for possible obstacles on your path.
- Ensure bicycle readiness- you must ensure the lights, saddle, and breaks are working properly before you take a ride. Ensure that you’re in a comfortable position before you start the ride.
- Go with the flow- you must ride in the direction of the traffic and not against the traffic.
- Do a bicycle test- you must check to ensure the bike is road ready before you take a ride.
Bike safety equipment
You can choose to use handlebar-mounted mirrors or helmet-mounted for scanning the road behind you while riding. Scanning over your shoulders can be dangerous for inexperienced bike riders because it may cause swerving. Avoid mirrors on glasses because they adversely injure your eyelids in case of an accident.
Gloves are very important because they can protect your palms when you fall on hard surfaces like pavements. Most gloves are also padded to protect the hands from compression stress, especially when taking long rides.
They are also designed to keep your hands warmer when you take rides during cold months. You can also wipe out your tires with particles like glass bits before they penetrate the tread of your tires when riding on a patch of glass. Washable gloves are the best for summer. There are more sleek gloves in the market that flash whenever a rider presses his or her thumb to signal a left or right turn.
Having a torch bicycle helmet is very advisable. It’s also prudent to invest in an active light for riding after dark. Reflective devices are not a substitute of electric lights. The typical blinking rear lights are also very important for your overall safety when riding a bike.
You ought to ensure your active lights are well maintained to avoid surprises when it gets dark. Although you should have horns, practice to use the adrenaline-based reactions of screaming in bike/car situations because it’s faster to prevent an accident.
Although mouth guards are widely used for sports such as football and boxing, they can also be helpful for bike riders. A blow to your chin during a fall can do serious harm that is just more harming to your teeth. Once the mouth guard stabilizes the entire jaw by engaging the lower and upper teeth, you can be guaranteed that a fall impact won’t transmit energy to your brain. Choose a mouth guard with vents that will allow you to shout at pets, cars, and pedestrians while riding so as to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Full body armor
Impact energy management can be achieved by using full body armor. Although it might be too warm, especially during the hot months, it can protect you from getting broken collarbones. However, educating your active child is much better than the armor because most kids can’t stand being uncomfortable when enjoying a ride.
When road conditions are rainy or icy, certain bikes are not equal in adhesion to the road. Tread or softer rubber may not be the answer to the problem. You should be aware of that and consult widely with bike shop attendants to advise you properly before buying bike tires suitable for your regular road in order to avoid incurring constant accidents.
You can also invest in some flags for increased visibility on highways, especially if you’re a tourist. Invest in bright colors for better visibility while in traffic.