Riding a bicycle is extremely beneficial to both human beings and the environment. It is a great way to get exercise, it is an efficient means of transportation and it is completely sustainable by using no non-renewable resources.
But while riding a bicycle may be convenient and effective, it still requires that the rider adhere to certain safety standards in order to prevent any unnecessary harm or injury. Here are the most important parts of bicycle safety in order to stay on the road and injury free.
A bike helmet is the single most important point when discussing bicycle safety. A helmet should be worn by a rider at all times, and should be secured snugly beneath the chin in order to be as effective as possible. While many helmets will be beneficial to safety, such as motorcycle, hockey, or other sports helmets, a regulation bicycle helmet should be worn to provide the safest accessory possible.
Experts claim that while only 18 percent of all bicyclists wear helmets, they are over 80 percent effective in protecting the rider from head or brain injuries. A rider should never leave home without a helmet.
While some riders believe that these are only effective once the sun goes down, reflectors are actually useful during all hours. These shiny devices reflect light back to the source, often alerting cars of oncoming or forward-moving cyclists. For bicyclists riding at night, these great tools make them more visible to other cyclists or automobiles. While they should never replace a light, reflectors are a great way to stay safe when riding in traffic.
Automobiles are fully equipped with electronic signals that can alert members of traffic of imminent maneuvers bicyclists aren’t so lucky, though. When turning at an intersection, or even simply off of the road, use your hands to signal your change of direction. A left hand pointed straight out indicates a left turn, and a left hand bent upwards at the elbow indicates a right turn learning bicycle hand signals can keep you safe on the road as you turn about town.
Like cars, bicycles should be equipped with lights that can be turned on at all times if necessary. While lights are important during the night, riding during inclement weather can be cause for flipping the switch as well. Riding with a light on the handlebars can be convenient; riding with a headlamp is another hands-free option.
For increased safety, make sure that your bicycle always holds a rear light as well. A rear light can be a great alert to cars that are travelling the same direction as you. When riding at night or during conditions of poor visibility, make sure that your front and rear lights are always present and in good working order to ensure your safety on the road.
Riding a bicycle can be a great way to have some fun, get some exercise, and benefit the environment, but it is important to follow certain safety procedures on the road. The next time you head out on two wheels, read over this list to make sure that you stay safe as you pedal away.
Chris Bentley is a freelance writer who specializes in Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Constitutional Law, Patent Law, Class Action Lawsuits and other fascinating legal topics.