Bicycling offers entertainment, exercise and cheap transportation. However, it comes with dangers just like any other method of travel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 100,000 people find themselves involved in biking accidents each year. By practicing certain precautions, you may reduce the risk of becoming one of these individuals.
1. Be visible
Part of the risk in riding a bicycle is that its smaller size makes it easier for drivers to miss you, especially in blind spots and at turns. This increases the chance of them colliding with you.
Wear bright equipment, preferably fluorescent shades that stand out. Always have your lights on when bicycling, even during the day. Check your lights before going out to ensure they remain bright. Do not assume that drivers see you; if possible, maneuver to get into a more visible position or signal to drivers to check that you are visible.
2. Avoid auditory entertainment
Do not wear earbuds or headphones while bicycling. While listening to a podcast or favorite playlist is normal when exercising or traveling, it may prevent you from hearing the approach of a vehicle. That may mean the difference between avoiding and becoming involved in an accident.
3. Ride the right size bike
It is not as uncommon as you may think for individuals to have the wrong size bicycle and not realize it. However, a bike that is too small or too big may be more difficult to manipulate in a decisive moment. When purchasing a bicycle, check the sizing chart and consult a salesperson.
Bicycling carries a certain level of risk, but safety measures may help minimize it. Actions like maximizing visibility and avoiding distractions are basic examples of such practices.