10 Tips for Focusing on Safety When Cycling on Public Roads
Wondering if you can get away with not wearing a helmet while cycling on the roads? Research shows that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death in an accident by 37 to 41 percent.
From safety to traffic law, you have to be knowledgeable about safety when cycling. You have to learn some guidelines to ensure you’re keeping yourself safe while on the road.
So if you’re planning to hit the road with your bike, read these bike riding safety tips.
Table of Contents
- 1 1. Follow Traffic Laws
- 2 2. Wear a Helmet
- 3 3. Be Visible
- 4 4. Stay Predictable
- 5 5. Be Mindful of Blind Spots
- 6 6. Use Bike Lanes and Paths
- 7 7. Be Cautious at Intersections
- 8 8. Stay Away from Distracted Riding
- 9 9. Watch for Opening of Car Doors
- 10 10. Maintain Your Bike
- 11 Be Aware of These Tips for Safety When Cycling
1. Follow Traffic Laws
An important part of maintaining safety when cycling is to follow all traffic laws. It is important to ride in the same direction as traffic and obey all posted speed limits and traffic signals. Whether you are on a public road or a private area, traffic laws are always to be abided by, as this is to ensure your safety.
A few traffic laws you must be aware of include always wearing a bicycle helmet when riding, following the direction of traffic, staying to the side of the road, and using directional signals when turning. If you notice, all of these are included in any biking safety checklist, but they are also considered part of the law.
2. Wear a Helmet
A bike helmet can save your life should you collide with another vehicle, as it will protect your head from impact. Additionally, bike helmets are designed to protect you from various weather conditions, such as rain, cold and heavy winds. They also help to keep your vision clear so you can spot potential hazards ahead.
Make sure to always wear your helmet when cycling, and that it properly fits your head and is in good condition. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a full helmet, you can select a half-shell helmet for safety. Even this type of helmet is enough to secure you from serious injuries if an accident happens.
3. Be Visible
When cycling, it is important to make sure that you are visible to other drivers. Wear bright and or reflective clothing to make yourself stand out. Additionally, use front and rear lights when riding in the dark and inclement weather.
For added visibility, mount a flag on the back of your bicycle to increase your visibility to drivers. Even during the day, make sure you are seen by using noticeable hand signals to communicate your intentions.
4. Stay Predictable
Staying predictable includes following traffic rules and signals and riding in a straight line; don’t swerve in and out of lanes. Always use hand signals when appropriate and look around you at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.
Avoid cycling too close to parked cars and other cyclists. Check for any hazards on the road, such as potholes or debris, and ride cautiously. That way, you can help anyone following you with hand signals and make them aware of the same hazards.
5. Be Mindful of Blind Spots
Drivers often do not anticipate cyclists and may not expect them to be present. This can lead to dangerous scenarios. To focus on safety, it is important to be aware of vehicles that are passing or turning around you and to always be visible.
Blind spots are always a concern, so it is important to pay close attention to any vehicles that may be incoming. Before turning or moving into traffic, look over your shoulder and in all directions to make sure the area is clear.
6. Use Bike Lanes and Paths
Ride in a designated bike lane where available. A bike has its lane because cyclists must be mindful when entering public roads and exercising caution to ensure their safety. Wrong-way biking can pose a significantly higher risk of collisions with other vehicles, so it’s important to make sure to always use the designated bike lane.
7. Be Cautious at Intersections
Look both ways before entering an intersection, stop when necessary, and obey all traffic signals and hazard signs. Slow down as you approach a busy intersection, and be aware of all pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists. When crossing, take note that you should stay in the bike lane, not on the sidewalk.
8. Stay Away from Distracted Riding
Stay away from distracted riding. Avoid listening to music while riding, and keep both hands on the handlebar at all times. Never use your phone and pay attention to vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists around you and be ready to stop or take evasive action.
9. Watch for Opening of Car Doors
One of the primary safety tips is to watch for opening car doors. Drivers may not always look before they open their car doors. This is especially true in busy traffic areas.
Cyclists should remain alert when traveling past cars that are parked on the side of the road. They should remain far enough away from the vehicles so that a sudden opening of a car door will not cause them to crash into the car.
10. Maintain Your Bike
Aside from staying safe, maintaining your bike is the best way to protect yourself from negligence or legal charges. Make sure to routinely inspect your bike, brakes, wheels, handlebars, and reflectors.
Check the tire pressure and make sure the seat is adjusted to the proper height. Be sure to check with legal experts to discover more about the legal implications of bike accidents from being negligent with your bike maintenance.
Be Aware of These Tips for Safety When Cycling
Safety should always be the top priority when cycling on public roads. By following tips for safety when cycling, such as wearing a helmet, riding in the direction of traffic, and alerting drivers with hand signals, cyclists can make sure they stay safe and visible to enjoy their ride. Make sure to keep these helpful tips in mind and stay vigilant when cycling on public roads.
Should you wish to explore more articles aside from bike riding etiquette, visit our main blog section.