Cyclists know that bicycle riders often face an elevated risk when on the road. Your vehicle of choice is much smaller than any passenger car, and it offers you very little protection if you get hit. Personal protective gear like helmets and padding only goes so far, too.
Thus, it is crucial to implement as many safety tips as possible to keep yourself from harm. Of course, you must also know which tips will provide you with the most benefit.
What to do before you set off
The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration goes into detail about the importance of bicycle safety. Many of the details are likely familiar, and you may have learned them from bicycle safety courses at a younger age. They include things like:
- Always wearing a helmet
- Check your equipment before riding
- Ensure that your bicycle is properly fit to your riding height
- Try to avoid riding at night
Another crucial tip involves doing what you can to see others and maintain high visibility for other cars. You can do this by wearing fluorescent colors or reflective gear. It also helps to equip your bicycle with a small flashing light. This way it will not distract other drivers, but will draw their attention to you.
Where to ride
Of course, it is also important to know where you can safely ride. If available, you should always go for the bike paths or bike lanes. This is safer than riding on the sidewalk or attempting to share the road with drivers. Pedestrians are not your only risk when you ride on the sidewalk, too. You also risk hitting cars at intersections or driveways.
If you need to ride on the sidewalk at any point during your biking, make sure to watch for turning vehicles going into or out of driveways. Check laws to ensure sidewalk riding is legal in your area, too.