As the popularity of cycling increases in America, the number of people taking to the roads on bikes is growing. With the rise in cycling, it’s important for cyclists to understand the risks and take preventative measures to stay safe. Whether you’re a commuter, a weekend cyclist, or someone who just loves to ride, here’s what you need to know to stay safe on the roads.
Always Wear a Helmet
Helmets are a simple and effective way to protect your head in the event of an accident. Even if you’re an experienced cyclist, it’s important to remember that accidents can happen at any time. Wearing a helmet will help to reduce your risk of serious head injuries in the event of a crash. Make sure that you’re wearing a helmet that’s been properly fitted and meets the safety standards of your state.
When you’re out on the road, it’s important to make sure that you’re visible to other road users. Wear bright, reflective clothing and equip your bike with lights and reflectors. Make sure that you’re visible during the day and at night. Invest in a rear-view mirror so that you can easily check for traffic behind you.
Obey the Rules of the Road
When you’re out on the road, you have to follow the same rules as any other vehicle. This means that you should obey traffic signs, lights and signals. Don’t ride on the sidewalk and always make sure that you’re riding in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Always make sure that you’re signaling when you’re turning or changing lanes.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When you’re out on the road, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to the traffic around you and be aware of any hazards such as potholes, debris or obstacles. Be prepared to take evasive action if necessary and make sure that you’re always looking ahead.
Watch Your Speed
Always be aware of your speed when you’re on the bike. Riding faster than you can safely control can increase your risk of an accident. If you’re riding downhill, you should make sure that you’re slowing down and using your brakes. Don’t take unnecessary risks and always make sure that you’re able to stop in time.
Stay in Control
When you’re on the bike, it’s important to stay in control of your speed, direction and the bike itself. Avoid sudden movements and don’t try to carry too much weight. Make sure that your bike is in good condition and that the brakes and tires are in good working order. Don’t ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When you’re out on the roads, it’s important to be aware that not all drivers are aware of cyclists. Be prepared to take evasive action when necessary and always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that you’re visible to other road users and ride defensively to reduce your risk of an accident.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
It’s important to be prepared for any emergency that may arise when you’re out on the roads. Carry a basic first aid kit and a cell phone with you in case of an emergency. Make sure that you’re familiar with the local area and know where the nearest hospital is in case of an accident.
Take Care of Yourself
Cycling can be an enjoyable and healthy activity, but it can also be physically demanding. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and getting enough rest before and after your rides. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and wear the right clothing to keep your body temperature regulated.
Staying safe on the roads is an important part of cycling. By following these simple tips, you can reduce your risk of an accident and ensure that you’re staying safe when you’re out on the roads. Always remember to wear a helmet, be visible, obey the rules of the road, be aware of your surroundings, watch your speed, stay in control and ride defensively.