Important Bicycling Safety Tips

Family_ridingIf you enjoy cycling like we do, then this bicycling advisory will be helpful. Cycling accidents are on the increase as many drivers consider them vehicles. Cyclists have to follow the rules of the road, just like car and truck drivers. Many bike-related crashes could be avoided if riders took these ten simple bike safety steps: 

Before you go

  1. Bicycling TogetherWear a bike helmet that fits you and is properly adjusted. It could save your life in a crash.
  2. Be visible. Wear bright clothing (not dark—fluorescent is best). If you must ride in the dark make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bike. White lights on the front and a rear red flashing light makes it easier to be seen.
  3. Check your bike to make sure the tires are inflated properly, the brakes are tight enough, and the chain is running smoothly. Spin the crank and if the chain is rusty and making noise, it may need to be oiled.

On the road

  1. F-McGowanRide to the right (or the left in some countries) of the road in the same direction as traffic. Go with the flow—not against it.
  2. Keep at least one hand on the handlebars. If you need to carry books or groceries, put them in a bike carrier or backpack.
  3. Be extra cautious at intersections—about half of crashes occur there. Obey traffic signals, and scan for traffic around you. Before making a turn, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal and position yourself in the proper lane.
  4. When passing a pedestrian or another bike, slow down, warn them of your approach with a bell or call out to just prior to passing them.
  5. Don’t wear a headset when you ride—you need to hear what’s going on.
  6. Watch for hazards such as glass, rocks, animals, or potholes, which can cause you to lose control of your bike.
  7. When riding near parked cars, be aware of doors that could suddenly open. The best bike safety practice is to ride far enough away from parked cars (about 4 feet) to avoid being hit by a door.

Karin Weisburgh

Consumer Reports

27 July 2015

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