According to the World Health Organization, approximately 41,000 cyclists are killed around the globe every year. And countless others are injured.
So, it is vital that you know how to stay safe while riding your bicycle.
Here are six of the most important safety tips that all cyclists should know.
What if You Are Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
It is great that you have started cycling, as there are many health benefits to be gained. But you need to make sure you stay safe when cycling on roads.
Though, before we look at how to stay safe, it is worth mentioning what you should do if you are injured in a bicycle accident.
The first thing you need to do is assess your injuries. If you have anything more than a few minor cuts and grazes, you should call 911 or get yourself to a hospital.
Even if you have no visible symptoms, you should get yourself checked by a medical professional to ensure you have no non-visible injuries, such as traumatic brain injury.
You should then swap details with the other party and get the contact details of any witnesses. You should photograph the accident scene too.
Once you have had your injuries seen to, if injured in a bicycle collision that was another’s fault, you should contact an experienced lawyer who can help you claim compensation.
Though, if you remember the following safety tips, you can avoid being injured in a cycling accident in the first place.
Check Your Bike Before You Start Cycling
Cycling accidents are not always due to things like negligent drivers and bumps in the road. Malfunctioning bicycles and equipment also contribute to bike accidents.
So, make sure you check your tires, your chain, your lights, and all of your equipment before you head off.
Always Wear a Helmet
Studies show that wearing a helmet can reduce cyclists’ chances of being seriously injured by a staggering 70%.
So, always make sure you wear a helmet. Head injuries can be fatal.
Keep Your Hands on the Handlebars at All Time
On some stretches of road, you might be tempted to ride with one hand. Sometimes, you might feel like showing off by riding without either of your hands on the handlebars.
But if you do, you greatly increase your risk of being involved in a road accident.
Therefore, make sure you always keep both hands on your bicycle, unless you are making hand signals.
Make Sure You Use Hand Signals
Speaking of hand signals, make sure you use them.
If you make a turn without indicating your actions to drivers, you could easily end up in an accident and become injured.
So, make sure you know all of the correct cycling hand signals and ensure you use them.
Wear Reflective Clothing
One of the leading causes of bicycle accidents is limited visibility. After all, when drivers cannot see you, they could easily run into you by accident.
So, in addition to ensuring you have bright lights that are in good working order, wear reflective clothing so that drivers can always see you easily when it is dark or you are in a poorly-lit area.
You could add reflective strips to your bike too.
Stay Off Sidewalks but Stay on Cycling Paths
Bicycling accidents do not only happen on roads. If you cycle on the sidewalk where you should not be cycling, you could hit a pedestrian or you could be hit by an unexpected obstacle.
Therefore, staying off sidewalks is not just a matter of sticking to the law, in most places. It is also about ensuring you stay safe.
Of course, some sidewalks are set up with designated cycling paths. So, make sure you use cycling paths when they are provided.
With these safety tips, you should be able to not only stay safe but enjoy cycling with all of it’s benefits.