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Safety Tips for Bicyclists


Cycling can be a fun and healthy way to get around, exercise, and entertain yourself (and your family). Like any other form of transportation, however, it comes with certain risks. When riding on busy streets, for example, you must be aware of cars and trucks and take steps to avoid a devastating bicycle accident.

Luckily, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other reliable resources around the web have entire lists of safety tips for bicyclists and motorists alike.

We’ve already shared some tips for helping motorists avoid bicycle accident, so now we want to share some safety tips for bicyclists:

Tip #1: Always Wear a Helmet

Just like you should always wear a seat belt when you ride in a car, you should always wear a helmet when you ride your bicycle. Make sure your helmet fits you right – find out how with this convenient NHTSA guide (opens a PDF).

Tip #2: Ride the Right Bike

Your bicycle should fit you just as well as your helmet does. Do not choose a bike that is too big, as it can be hard to control. Instead, choose a bike that allows 1 to 2 inches between you and the top tube (bar), adjust the seat to allow a slight bend in the knee, and lock in your seat and handlebars.

The right bike must be in good working order, as well, so check that your tires are inflated and your brakes functional before taking off.

Tip #3: Dress for the Occasion

Choose appropriate footwear when going for a bike ride. Avoid flip flops and double-check that your shoelaces are tied tightly and tucked away. The last thing you want is shoelaces caught in your bike chain. For this same reason, you should tuck your pantleg into your shoe and consider riding in tight-fitting clothes that won’t jeopardize your mobility.

Wearing bright clothing during the day is always a good idea because it helps people see you. The same principle applies to reflective material at night. If you are going to ride at night, you should also have a white front light, a rear red light, and reflectors on your bike.

Tip #4: Plan Your Route

You can’t safely read a map or adjust your GPS while riding a bike, so plan your route ahead of time. Choose roads with less traffic and slower speed limits, or better yet, ride away from traffic on a trail or bike path. Try to choose roads with large or protected bike lanes, as well.

Tip #5: Ride Smart

When you’re on the road, ride in the same direction as traffic. Keep an eye out for potential hazards and one hand on the handlebars at all times. If you’re carrying groceries or other items, put them in your basket, on your rear rack, or in a backpack. Always assume motorists do not see you and scan ahead for potholes, pebbles, grates, and other situations that may cause you to fall.

Obey all street signs, signals, and road markings and follow the rules of the road. Stay focused on the task at hand and avoid texting, listening to music, or doing anything that takes your attention away from the road.

Bonus Tip: Know Who to Call if Something Goes Wrong

Following these safety tips can help you prevent bicycle accidents, but if a drunk, distracted, or reckless driver crosses your path, a crash may be unavoidable. Seek medical attention immediately after any bicycle collision, gather as much information as you can at the accident scene, and call Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC for legal help.

We can help you cope with the aftermath of your bicycle accident. All you need to do is call us at (843) 968-0886 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.