Every year there are more bicycle riders on the road, and you may be among them. Perhaps you commute to work or ride to school. Of course, you might also ride purely for enjoyment.
Since cyclists are vulnerable to accidents, it is wise to take safety precautions. Here are four tips to help you avoid a serious crash.
1. Choose a proper fit
Every cyclist should wear a helmet and this piece of safety equipment needs to fit properly. Size varies among manufacturers, so when you are trying on different helmets, it is important to adjust the straps to ensure a good fit. The importance of a good fit extends to your bike. If it is too large, it will be harder to control.
2. Become more visible
During the day, wear bright colors. If you plan to ride after dark, choose reflective clothing. Your bike should have a white light in front and a red light in back. Look into additional LED lights for your bike—anything to make you more visible to drivers.
3. Plan your route
If you are riding with traffic, choose a route that has fewer vehicles and a slower speed. Ride where motorists expect to see bicycles. Remember to signal and look over your shoulder before changing lanes or turning. Always remain alert to what is going on around you. Watch for drivers backing out of driveways or leaving parking lots.
4. Seek professional help
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that bicycle fatalities often occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in urban areas. There are thousands of serious injuries to cyclists each year. If the unexpected occurs and you become the victim of a crash, an advocate can help. You have a right to compensation to cover your medical expenses and more.