In the latest Tour de France, in 2021, over 20 bikers were injured due to accidents occurring on the road. The whole spectacle often hosts around 200 bikers, and with sometimes harsh weather conditions, these accidents are pretty common occurrences. Fortunately for the bike riders, they had the necessary equipment and skills to reduce the chances of serious injuries, and therefore most ended up only being a bit bumped. This happens in everyday life quite often, even to recreational bike riders. It is important to inform yourself of ways in which you can prevent or reduce injuries. Therefore, knowing basic safety tips can sometimes make a huge difference.
Stay on the safe side and respect regulations
When considering cycling in traffic, you can often hear something like: “the same regulations apply to a bicycle as a car; they are no exception; that’s how you should behave.” Well, the regulations are not exactly the same (the obligation to use one meter of tape, for example), and the vehicles have their differences, respectively. With this said, always be on the safe side of the road while driving; avoid any sudden and unplanned maneuvers; and give hand gestures as a form of signalization when you are planning on making a turn to the left or right.
Make sure to be seen at the same time; wear something that stands out, like bright-neon-colored vests, which catch the eye of passengers. This will allow the passing-by drivers to notice you on time and react (hit the brakes) if necessary.
Wear protective gear and a helmet
Protective gear is more of a necessity than a matter of choice. In some states, you are even obliged to wear basic equipment such as gloves, helmets, and glasses to prevent any dust or little insects from getting into your eyes while driving. This equipment serves the purpose of preventing any serious injuries in the event of an accident. It also helps you drive more safely, as in the case of glasses. Unfortunately, even the most experienced riders who are adhering to all the safety regulations can become involved in an accident due to the negligence of another party involved. In the case of such accidents, the injuries can vary from mild to severe, and therefore it is important to seek professional help in dealing with the whole situation. First of all, look for medical and then legal assistance. There are numerous attorneys specializing in such cases. Thus, you can visit Bestbicycleaccidentlawyer.com for more information on the matter, and they will make sure your rights are met as intended. Never let things just go unnoticed or slide under the carpet. The injuries can cause long-lasting health issues and leave you in pain for years. Therefore, you are entitled to some form of compensation to cover all the costs. And never think of it as your fault, as it can happen no matter how careful you’ve been.
Pay attention to the speed of passing-by vehicles
When driving in traffic, you should pay attention to the usual speed of other vehicles. The greater the difference in speed, the better it is to lean more to the side, along the right edge of the road. With a greater difference in speed, vehicles have less time to react before approaching the bike, and it slows them down more if they can’t bypass you. Of course, do not always go along the edge if it is not safe (holes, manholes, doors of parked vehicles, etc. are things to pay attention to).
Know the dead angles
If approaching a vehicle for passing, bypassing, or even overtaking, it is important to keep in mind blind spots. Count on the fact that, while the bike is in them, the rider cannot see it. That is why it is important to use the relatively low speed of the bike and the available time before entering the blind spot to look inside the car: the position of the driver’s head and hand movements on the steering wheel. Observe the area around the vehicle: is it to be expected that the driver is looking for a parking space and turns into a free place as soon as he sees it, without checking! Is he planning a semicircle? If anything suspicious is noticed, it is better to stop, at a safe distance, before entering a dead angle.
Inspect the bicycle before hitting the road
A thorough inspection of the bike before getting on it should become a part of your daily routine. Make sure to check the tire pressure, brakes, and if the chain is oiled. Also, make sure to look at any possible cracks along with the bike’s frame (although it is highly unlikely) and get it serviced every 6 to 12 months to be safe.
Maybe skip the night rides
Even though riding at night can sometimes be an amazing and thrilling experience, you should skip it if there is no real need, just to be extra cautious. Night rides carry a lot of danger as the limited visibility makes the chance of an accident occurring much higher. Therefore, it might be better to wait until the morning, and if you already have to, make sure to put on your neon vest.
We hope this article will help you understand and implement some of the most important tips when hitting the road with your bicycle. Stay safe!