Cycling is a fantastic way to get your daily exercise, release endorphins, and cut down on your carbon emissions. Despite the fact that cycling is not considered a high-risk sport, there are many dangers associated with this form of physical activity. More specifically, cyclists must be wary of busy roads and vehicles that operate on them.
If you’re a novice cyclist, or you simply want to brush up on your safety skills, you have come to the right place. We’ve curated a comprehensive guide with all our best tips and tricks. Here are nine proactive ways you can avoid an accident as a cyclist.
Wear Cycling Gear and Equipment That Increases Your Visibility
No matter what the weather looks like, you should always make an effort to improve your visibility as a cyclist. Preferably, you should kit yourself out with plenty of reflective and fluorescent gear. You can purchase helmets, shoes, clothing, and even ankle or wrist gear that helps you stand out. Similarly, add a bright flashing light to your bike whilst cruising at night.
Use Hand Signals to Communicate with Others on the Road
When you’re cycling, there are no automatic blinkers to let others know you’re about to make a right or left turn. Therefore, you need to make use of hand signals and communicate your every move to others on the road. Even if you don’t think it’s necessary, we recommend you do so anyway. This will help you get into the habit and avoid potential accidents.
Never Assume Drivers Can See or Hear You
Don’t be foolish and assume that other drivers can see or hear what you are saying. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, so we suggest you cycle as preventatively as possible. If you do happen to be involved in a road traffic accident, we recommend you contact a team of lawyers, such as the Lamber Goodnow Injury Team, right away.
Invest in a Bicycle Mirror to Help You Manoeuvre
There are plenty of upgrades you can add to your bike in order to make cycling around town feel much safer. We recommend you invest in a bicycle mirror to increase the visibility of others on the road. You will feel much safer knowing you have an easy way to check out what is going on behind you.
Avoid Arterial Roads and Opt for Local Streets Instead
Accidents can happen anywhere and at any time, however, it’s much more probable that you land yourself in trouble whilst trying to navigate arterial roads with high volumes of traffic. Not only will this make cycling more stressful, but it’s also more dangerous. Instead, we recommend you scope out a local route that may be longer but safer.
Don’t Ride While Reading Headphones
Although you may be excited to get on your bike and relax by listening to some great music, we strongly advise against this. You should never ride with headphones in as this can impair your reaction speed and ultimately cause a serious accident. It’s vital that you remain as alert as possible.
Make Sure You Wear Your Helmet (Even During Short Trips)
Sometimes the shortest trips are the most dangerous ones because you are unaware of your surroundings. Therefore, you should always wear a helmet, even if you are only embarking on a ten minute journey. Don’t let your guard down.
Ride the Right Size of Bike For Your Frame
Another way you can improve your safety as a cyclist is by ensuring you purchase the correct size bike for your height and frame. We recommend you speak to a specialist store for more assistance.
Lobby to Improve Safety in Your Community
If you really want to take matters into your own hand, we suggest you round up a group of your local cyclists and take action. Try to lobby for real changes that will fundamentally increase the safety of cyclists in your community. Use social media to increase that community awareness.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is your health – without it, you won’t be able to enjoy this sport at all. Therefore, we please ask that you remain safe on the roads and look out for other cyclists in your area.
Educating others about the correct driving etiquette around cyclists is just as important as being proactive on the road. Reducing the number of cyclist accidents is a joint effort, so make sure everyone is contributing towards the cause.