Beginners Guide To Cycling Safety
When you first learn to ride a bicycle you may be wary of riding on the street with the normal traffic. Your first attempts at riding with traffic can be scary and heart stopping. If you plan to continue riding in traffic you’ll need to know how to safely negotiate the road rules and the traffic that is zooming past your ears!
Whether you ride for fitness, to commute to work, or if you are just riding for pleasure and exploring your local area there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you don’t become the next bicycle casualty in your neighborhood.
So what should you remember when you’re a beginner cyclist?
1. You need to obey all the road rules.
Not just the easy rules but also the more complicated ones. Stop at red lights just like all the other traffic. Don’t go whizzing through an intersection and expect cars to avoid you. Make sure you always give way where required and make sure you understand who gives way at traffic lights and crossways when turning. You need to be in the right at all times.
2. Wear brightly colored clothing when you cycle.
Everything you can do to help vehicle drivers see you will be appreciated and will help you to stay safe.
3. Riding during daylight hours is a lot safer than riding in the dark.
If you must ride after the sun goes down, make sure you are clearly marked with high visibility clothing and reflectors on the front and back of your bicycle. You need to make sure you can be seen.
4. Always wear a helmet when you ride.
You might think it’s OK to not worry about wearing a helmet for short trips. Don’t be tempted to ignore this safety rule. Helmets are proven to save lives.
5. Be a consistent cyclist and make sure drivers can easily predict where you plan to ride.
Signal your intentions. Ride towards the middle of your lane and don’t get yourself jammed between parked cars and moving traffic.
6. Always keep a look out for doors opening on parked cars.
This is an awful way to come off your bike and can result in really serious injuries. Try not to ride too close to cars parked along the side of the street. When the door opens very often a driver either cannot see you or has not looked for cyclists before exiting their vehicle. Your best bet is always to avoid them first.
7. Never ever ride while listening to music through headphones.
This can be a hard one to resist, especially if you have a long way to travel on your bicycle. Many accidents are caused because cyclists don’t hear vehicles approaching. The same rules apply to using mobile phones while you ride. It’s a bad idea. Pull over if you need to make or receive a call while riding.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you take up cycling. Remember all of the above tips and you have a far greater chance of arriving at your destination safely.
Do you have the Bicycle Accident Assistant app on your smartphone yet? Install it now just in case of a cycling related accident. Be sure to Like Bicycle Attorney on Facebook for more safety tips and cycling related posts.