Cycling is a wonderful activity with plenty of health benefits, like increased strength and flexibility, decreased stress levels, improved posture and coordination, and weight loss. However, cycling on the main road can be dangerous as you can be severely injured in case of a collision with a vehicle.
Therefore, if you’re a new rider or getting back into cycling, it’s essential to take time and learn the road safety rules. This post will look at road safety tips and reminders that cyclists should adopt to stay safe. Take a look!
Table of Contents
Prepare Your Bike
Before heading out for a ride, ensure that your bike is in good condition and everything is working appropriately. Check the condition of your brakes to ensure they’re working, inspect if the chain is in place, and if the tires are well inflated. You can also adjust your seat height for a more comfortable ride. When seated, your leg should be straight when your foot is on the lower pedal. If everything is okay, give your bike a test ride before heading out.
Wear Appropriate Equipment
When cycling on a public road, wear the proper protective gear. Protective equipment can help prevent injuries and concussions in case of an accident. Your protective gear should include helmets, knee guards, boots, reflective clothing, and bike headlights.
In addition, during the day, it’d be best to wear bright clothes to be visible to road users, and at night, wear reflective equipment as they’re visible to drivers in low light.
Be Vigilant While On The Road
Another way to increase your safety when cycling is to assess your surroundings for any hazards. Scan the road and look out for other road users, uneven surfaces, gaps, potholes, and debris to avoid landing on any. And suppose you’re residing in Florida; you may also check this post to know what causes so many bicycle accidents in Florida to be vigilant.
Regularly checking over your shoulder to know who or what is behind or beside you is also advisable. Be mindful of the movement of other road users. Be on alert and observe other motorists’ vehicle wheels, brake lights, a decrease or increase in speed, and signs that indicate a change in direction. All these aspects can help you act accordingly to avoid potential accidents. For instance, if you see the brake light go on, you know there’s something ahead, so you need to reduce your speed.
Follow Traffic Rules
If you’re cycling on a public road, you’re subjected to traffic rules like other drivers. Traffic rules are generally road standards essential in coordinating drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, thus helping minimize accidents.
Therefore, follow all the rules, including the stop signs, traffic lights, cycling in the right direction, and giving way to pedestrians. Following traffic rules ensures your safety and that of others and promotes respect between drivers and cyclists.
Plan Your Route In Advance
Before you decide to go cycling, planning when and where you’ll be cycling can also help. For instance, if you’re planning to ride on main roads, consider scheduling your cycling at a time with low traffic. On the other hand, if possible, avoid the busy roads and cycle on particular bike paths or unbusy side streets.
Avoid Blind Spots
A blind spot is an area outside the vehicle that the driver does not easily see unless they use a side mirror or do head checks. Blind spots include the down part of the vehicle’s sides, directly in front or back of the vehicle. Therefore, boost your visibility when riding on busy roads by refraining from other vehicles’ blind spots. The larger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot, so be careful when riding on bus and truck lanes.
Ride With Care
Always assume that other drivers can’t see you when riding on traffic roads. With that, practice riding with care and in a defensive manner, such that you’re prepared to take any remedial action in case of something.
For one, be predictable when cycling. This means riding in a straight line, avoiding sudden lane changes or abrupt stops, and signal turns in advance. Use your hands, voice, or bell to make these directives. Predictability can help avoid unnecessary road accidents as you can make it simple for drivers to share the road with you.
Another tip, if a driver doesn’t see you and is trying to overtake, don’t stay in their path; allow them to overtake and then return to your lane when it’s safe.
Wrapping It Up
Cycling on public and busy roads can be dangerous. Generally, you take a risk every time you get on your bicycle. With that, it’s essential to do your part for your safety and that of others. This post has outlined some tips you can keep in mind to stay safe while cycling on the road.
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