Why You Should Practice These 10 Safety Tips To Master Bike Safety Rules
If this bike safety rant isn’t enough to convince you, believe me that bike safety is a must if you want to avoid injury. While bicycling is relatively safe, if you must safe riding, familiarize yourself with these bike safety rules while using the proper equipment.
In 2010, more than 50,000 people were injured riding bikes in America alone. Even worse, 610 people were killed while riding their bikes. Nothing can eliminate risk completely, especially if you’re riding in an urban area, but you increase your odds of staying safe by practicing these bike safety rules. Thanks in part to bike safety education, bike fatalities decreased 25% between 1995 and 2010. Read on to learn how to keep yourself safe!
Bike Safety Rule 1 – Wear a Helmet
Do you know the number one factor in surviving a crash? Wearing a helmet. Always wear a helmet. This is the most important of the bike safety rules, hands down. In a crash, your head is as soft as a melon, subjecting you to brain damage, memory loss, and even death. Bike helmet use decreases your risk of head injury by 81%! You can further improve your safety by attaching a rear-view mirror to your helmet.
91% of bicyclists killed in 2009 weren’t wearing helmets! – Helmets.org
Bike Safety Rule 2 – Familiarize Yourself With Common Hazards
There are 10 common ways that cyclists are hit by cars. Usually these crashes occur at intersections. Please familiarize yourself with the diagrams here and learn how to avoid these types of crashes.
Bike Safety Rule 3 – Learn Bike Hand Signals
It’s important to communicate with cars to avoid accidents. But bikes don’t have turn signals. A knowledge of bike hand signals will help you indicate your intentions to the drivers around you.
Bike Safety Rule 4 – Don’t Wear Earphones
Staying safe on a bike requires awareness of your surroundings at all times. Your ears are one of your best tools for this. You can’t see if a car is behind you, but you can hear it (unless it’s an electric car). If you’re wearing earphones, you won’t be able to hear a car coming up behind you. All of the other bike safety rules are useless if you are not aware of what’s going on.
Bike Safety Rule 5 – Check & Maintain Your Bike
Make sure your bike is in good shape before heading on the road. Test your brakes, adjust your seat, make sure you have proper tire pressure, and if you have quick release tire, make sure your wheels are secure.
Bike Safety Rule 6 – Use Bike Safety Gear
Practice safe biking. This means staying visible so that cars can avoid you. Don’t wear all black. If you are going to ride at night, be sure that you have: a Rear Bicycle Light, Front Bicycle Light, reflective bike clothing, and 2 Tire Lights (so you can be seen from the side). This will keep you covered, easy as pie.
A Bicycle Bell is also a good idea to avoid having to swerve around pedestrians.
Bike Safety Rule 7 – Phone, Money, and ID
This bike safety guide offers a very important point: be sure to have money and a phone with you. It’s one of the most easy-to-practice bike safety rules. That way if you get into trouble you can either buy your way out or call a friend for help.
Bike Safety Rule 8 – Always Ride With Traffic
You should always ride with traffic. People may feel safer being able to see what’s coming a head, but very few accidents occur when being clipped from behind. If you’re traveling against traffic, however, a driver may not be expecting you or even looking for you. Then you get hit. Always ride with traffic, it’s a simple bike safety rule.
Bike Safety Rule 9 – Watch A Video
This handy overview of bike safety should get you up to speed in no time!
Bike Safety Rule 10 – Wear a Helmet
Seriously, wear a helmet.