Riding a bike can be a lot of fun, and is an excellent way to get around while staying in shape. But bike accidents are no joke. Bicycle Safety may not be the most exciting topic, but bike accidents can be pretty serious if you’re not careful.
It’s important that you follow bicycle safety tips to limit bike accidents. That’s where this article comes in!
In this article, we’ll walk you through 15 tips for riders of all ages to help you stay safe while riding your bike.
Let’s get right to it!
How To Stay Safe While Riding Your Bike
Start by following cycling rules and wearing high-quality safety gear. These are the two cardinal rules for bike safety.
There are other simple tips that can also make a huge difference in keeping you safe so keep reading.
15 Safe Cycling Tips That Are Essential For All Ages
1. Wear Proper Safety Gear
Wearing safety gear while cycling isn’t mandatory in all states. But it’s very important that you never ride a bicycle without them. The most important parts to protect are your head and hands. Keep on reading for more information about the most essential safety gear.
2. Choose the Right Bike for the Ride
Different bikes have different purposes. Road bikes, hybrid bikes, and comfort bikes are best for use on roads. In contrast, mountain bikes and gravel are perfect for off-road cycling.
3. Check Your Bike Before You Ride
Make sure that to keep your bicycle chain, derailleurs, and brakes are in good condition. These parts are essential for the safe & dependable operation of your bike. Make it a habit to check these before each trip.
4. Check Weather Forecast Before the Trip
Slippery roads and heavy winds can make for a dangerous ride. Avoid riding in bad weather. Always check the weather forecast to prepare yourself and your bicycle.
5. Make Yourself Visible Both Day and Night
Making sure you’re visible to traffic & pedestrians is critical for safety. Wear bright colors during the day. Wear clothing with reflective strips during the night.
6. Always Obey Traffic Lights and Signs
A lot of cycling accidents are due to cyclists riding through red lights & stop signs. Cyclists share the road with vehicles. Obey traffic lights as well as any signs just like you expect cars to.
7. Limit Distractions While Riding
Avoid texting, phone calls, or listening to music while riding your bike. Roads & trails can always present surprises and demand a level of concentration.
8. Install Side Mirrors on Your Bike
Install side mirrors on your handlebars. That way you won’t have to keep looking over your shoulders while moving through traffic. This way you can always keep your eyes on the road.
9. Keep Hydrated While Cycling
Riding makes you sweat, which means you lose a lot of water. Many riders overlook the dangers of dehydration while riding. This can affect your judgment and reaction time. Always keep a bottle of water on your bike.
10. Keep Your Hands on the Handlebar As Much As Possible
Keep your hands on the handlebar, unless you’re signing to other vehicles. Also, slow down around road hazards. (more about this in the following sections)
11. Always Ride With Traffic
Cars will never expect to see you on the left side of the road, which makes riding against traffic dangerous. Also, if you ride against the flow of traffic approaching cars are coming at you much quicker.
12. Ride in Groups
Riding in a group is safer safety because a group is more visible to vehicles. Also, if something does happen you have others near who can help.
13. Don’t Pass or Overtake Vehicles on the Right
The safest place for bicycles is to the right of car traffic. Try to ride your bike where cars and other cyclists will expect to see you. If you try to make your own rules while riding, the risk may catch up to you.
14. Don’t Count on Eye Contact Alone
Eye contact is essential to have a mutual understanding of those around you in traffic. But, you might also need to make some noise using a bell or horn to alert those who aren’t aware of visual cues.
15. Keep a First Aid Kit and Cash for Emergencies
Make sure you have a first aid kit that includes essential tools, and cash in case you have to get a ride. It makes sense to plan for these things.
Essential Road Bike Safety Tips For Cycling In Traffic
Commuting or running your errands on your bike usually means riding in car traffic. Since you’ll be sharing the road with cars & trucks, it’s essential that you maintain your safety by following essential road safety tips. These tips include:
- Avoid riding your bicycle too close to curbs and on sidewalks.
- Use hand signals to show traffic where you intend to go. You can also use blinkers made for bikes.
- Don’t overtake busses and large trucks. They have huge blind spots.
- Scan the road around you and train your peripheral vision to be aware of your surroundings.
- Plan your route ahead of time and make sure that you take the best roads for bicycles. You try to should identify which roads have dedicated bike lanes.
How To Ensure Bicycle Safety For Kids
To ensure the safety of children, here are some tips that you should keep in mind:
- Children should always wear proper safety gear. This includes a helmet, knee and elbow pads.
- Children under 9 years old should always have adult supervision. They should also never ride their bike in traffic.
- Consider placing a name tag on your child’s bike with essential information. Full name, blood type, address, and contact number.
- Teach your kids to always look left and ride before crossing a road with their bikes, even if the road seems empty.
- Dress kids in bright colors, especially after dark. Make sure their clothes and bicycle have reflective strips or LED lights. This will make them visible in low-light situations.
- Teach kids to avoid distractions while riding their bikes. Make sure they know they can have fun on their bikes in safe places, but not while on the roads.
Essential Bicycle Safety Gear
Wearing proper safety gear is the most important safety tip by far! This applies to any bicycle rider no matter their age or circumstances. In this section, we’ll cover the safety items you need to have on your list.
1. Bike Helmet
Helmets are one of the most important safety gear for cyclists! They’re required by law in many countries since they greatly reduce head injuries.
2. Bike Headlights and Tail Lights
Other essential bicycle safety accessories for safety are the headlight and tail lights. You can also add bike indicator lights/blinkers for better visibility.
3. Cycling Glasses
Cycling glasses help improve visibility. They protect your eyes from the sun, bugs, road debris & dust. Wear clear protective glasses for night riding and protective sunglasses for the day.
4. Cycling Gloves
Cycling gloves improve your grip and enhance your handling of the bike. They also protect your hands if you fall with outstretched hands. You may need insulated gloves for winter riding.
How Can You Learn About Local Bicycle Safety Rules?
Each region or state will have its own rules on bicycle safety, especially when riding your bike on the road. Check out this resource to learn about Bike Laws in your state.
Bicycle Safety Statistics
Here are some of the most essential statistics related to bicycle safety: In 2020 there were about 675 cyclist deaths, which is less than 2019 (846) and 2018 (868). The numbers went down each year thanks to more awareness of bicycle safety rules and tips. According to the NHTSA, wearing proper safety gear reduces the risk of serious injuries by up to 60%! Now those are numbers that tell a real story.
What Are The Hazards Of Cycling?
Take care when riding past parked cars. Many bike accidents happen when drivers open their doors as cyclists are passing.
Intersections & Roundabouts
These areas deserve special care & attention. Always follow the same rules that cars need to follow and you’ll be much safer in traffic.
When it rains, oil from cars & trucks mixes with rainwater. This makes for slippery roads and sidewalks. Leave yourself extra room to stop when riding in the rain.
Potholes & Road Cracks
These are some of the biggest problems for cyclists. They’re unpredictable and you usually can’t see until you’re close.
Passing & Weaving
Some cyclists weave in and out of traffic and pass vehicles like they own the road. This is a great way to get in an accident with a car or truck.
Believe me, cyclists rarely come out on top of those encounters.
There you have it! A brief guide with a wide range of bicycle safety tips. Valuable cycling practices will help you stay on the safe side while riding your bike!
Now go check out this article to learn about Average Bike Speed of Various types of Bikes!