Riding a bike is a fun activity for individuals of all ages. Whether your bicycle is your main means of transportation or you enjoy riding it just to get some good exercise, bicycle riding provides a plethora of opportunities, fun, and benefits. While biking can definitely be lots of fun and games, it is also important that you take the appropriate steps in order to ensure your safety on the roads. Here we will explore some bicycle safety tips to help keep you safe on the roads.
Check Your Equipment
Before you even think about hopping on your bike, you want to make sure to check your equipment in order to ensure that your bike is in safe riding condition. Some parts of your bike that you will want to check include:
- Tire pressure
- Bike frame
- Brake pads and overall responsiveness
- Bike chain and gears
- Proper seat height and positioning
- Bike rims
Wear a Helmet
While this one may seem like a no-brainer, there are unfortunately many people who do not follow this safety tip. Wearing a helmet is a critical rule that everyone should follow in order to protect themselves on their ride. Studies have shown that helmets significantly reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event that you crash or fall off your bike. While wearing a helmet is a great step in the right direction, wearing one properly fits on your head is even more crucial.
Use Hand Signals
Another essential safety measure that all bicyclists should take is to learn all of the appropriate hand signals that alert other bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians about what their next move will be. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a guide with four important hand signals you should know as a bicyclist, including left turns, right turns, alternative right turns, and stopping or slowing down.
Obey Traffic Laws
Just because you are a bicyclist does not mean that the rules of the road do not apply to you. If you are driving on the street, it is important that you obey traffic laws to ensure your own safety. For example, bicyclists must obey street lights, stop signs, and stay in the designated bike lane (if there is one). Additionally, it is important that bicyclists ride in the same direction as traffic.
One last crucial step that bicyclists should take is to make sure that they remain visible on the road. In addition to making an effort to stay out of driver’s blind spots, it is also important that bicyclists wear reflective clothing. This may include gloves, vests, tape, shoes, and light. It is also advised to avoid riding on the streets when there is low visibility and fog that may impede one’s ability to see you on the road.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident
Despite adopting the aforementioned bicycle safety tips into your cycling routine, accidents may, unfortunately, still occur. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it is first important that you seek medical attention if you have sustained any injuries. If possible, you will want to document the scene, assess what occurred, and speak to any witnesses and individuals involved. Afterward, it may be worthwhile to contact a St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorney who can help protect your rights and work to help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to.