10 Bicycle Safety Tips

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  1. Wear a helmet: This is so obvious, so I thought I’d get it out of the way first. But truly, a helmet can safe you not only from a nasty bump, but possibly even brain damage or death. It’s better to have it on and not need it than to need it and not have it on.
  2. Obey traffic rules: A bicycle is a vehicle. Not only is it somewhat a matter of respect for others on the road, but it’s also a matter of your own safety and that of others for you to obey traffic laws. Often, car drivers can’t see bicyclists very well, and often they’re not looking for bicyclists. By obeying the rules of the road, you increase your own safety by far.
  3. Keep your bike in good condition: Nothing’s easier to have an accident on than a bicycle needing repair. Maybe the brakes need replaced or a tire with a slow leak needs patched or a new chain needs to be put on, but whatever it is, you need to have it fixed. If you can’t for whatever reason, you probably shouldn’t be out biking. Something as simple as weak brakes could cost you your life, especially in an area of high traffic.
  4. Keep both hands on the bicycle handlebars and ready to brake:You’ve seen it a thousand times. The guy riding real cool-like down the road with only one hand on his bicycle handlebars, or maybe even no hands. That guy is headed for an accident. By keeping both hands on the handlebars, you are much more prepared to brake if you need to. And don’t fool yourself into thinking one hand is good enough, because one brake is not good enough. In an emergency situation, you might have to be able to brake quickly, and that’s much more possible if you can use both brakes.
  5. At nights, use lights and reflective gear:As I mentioned above, vehicle drivers often can’t see bicyclists and aren’t prepared to see bicyclists, mainly because they’re so used to seeing other vehicles near the size of their own vehicle. This is tough enough during the day for bicyclists, but is even more so at night. Save yourself some trouble, and possibly save yourself, by wearing reflective clothing and having a headlamp on your bike. Also, make sure the reflectors on your bike are not broken and not covered by dirt or mud. If you don’t have any reflective garb, most bike shops will sell reflective tape you can put on your clothes, and they usually sell vests and other clothing with reflective strips on them.
  6. Know your bike: Not all bicycles are created equal. Some have better brakes than others. Some are lighter or heavier than others. Make sure you are familiar with your own bike before taking it out into high traffic areas. Knowing all the little ins and outs of your own bike could save you from getting hurt or accidentally hurting others.
  7. Make eye contact with drivers: This is the best way to ensure that vehicle drivers can see you and know you’re there.
  8. Glance behind you:You can’t do this one all the time, because you do need to keep your eyes out front, too, but you should try to scan behind yourself every few seconds when possible. This will let you know if their is a car or truck or something else flying up behind you. Rear view mirrors for bicycles are helpful, but just like in a car, mirrors can’t show you everything.
  9. Never have more than one person on a bike: This might have been fun to try as kids, but it’s also dangerous. More than one person on a bicycle puts too much weight on the bike and it highly increases the chances of the driver losing control or something else going wrong. Unless you have that bicycle build for two, just don’t do it.
  10. Give pedestrians the right of way: Bicycles can go really, really fast compared to someone walking or jogging. And those walkers and joggers often can’t react as fast as someone on a bike. Save yourself some possible trouble and give them the right of way. Keep in mind that just because you’re on a bicycle doesn’t mean you rule the road, or the sidewalks.

Related links

6 Basic Tools Needed for Bicycle Repair

10 Things Beginning Walkers Need to Know

5 Basic Benefits of Walking

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