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A Beginners Guide to Cyclist Safety

Biking has long been a popular activity throughout history. Many people engage in the activity for recreation, fitness, and transportation. Unfortunately, cycling safety guidelines are often ignored, putting many bikers in danger. 

With the increasing number of accidents each year, road safety has become a priority for all road users. For most, this involves observing traffic rules and driving responsibly. 

This is not any different for cyclists. In addition to following road rules, cyclists should ensure they have dressed appropriately for the activity. Although road behavior heavily factors in safety, clothing also plays several roles. 

Simple Ways to Increase Safety While Cycling

A cyclist's safety on the road could ultimately be determined by their clothing. Read on to find out why proper attire makes a difference. 

High-Visibility Clothing

Accident statistics have shown that most cyclist crashes happen during the early morning and evening hours when it is dark. During this time, riders are often unnoticeable to drivers, or noticed when it is too late. Therefore, you need to ensure you can be seen on the road for your safety. 

You can achieve this by wearing fluorescent or neon colors. You can also wear reflective clothing. Research has proven that cyclists wearing reflective clothing are 50 percent less likely to be involved in a crash with a vehicle. 

Safety Gear

Safety gear could potentially make the difference between a fatal injury and a minor injury during a crash. Furthermore, statistics have shown that cyclists are vulnerable road users, and could sustain severe head and body injuries in an accident. 

Luckily, the impact of crashes can be reduced with the right safety gear. Wearing a properly fitting helmet reduces the magnitude of head and brain injuries. Similarly, biking gloves, elbow, and knee pads protect you from injuries in these areas. 

Finally, if you are wearing long or loose pants, ensure you use leg bands to keep them away from your chain and wheels. Always wear shatter-resistant protective eyewear to protect your eyes from stray objects. 

Tail Light Position

Besides dressing, tail lights equally impact bicycle safety. Solid color lights on the ankles increase visibility from long distances. For the taillights, use a flashing color as it creates more attention. Additionally, you can also color modify your tires to enhance detection distance by other motorists.

The highway code requires cyclists to have white front and red tail lights. Moreover, your bicycle should be fitted with a red rear reflector. Ensure that the reflectors and lights are clean and working correctly when riding. 

Other practices to increase safety on the road are:

  • Inspect your bicycle before heading out
  • Stay alert while riding
  • Watch out for parked vehicles to avoid dooring accidents
  • Avoid riding in bad weather
  • Be predictable. Avoid unnecessary turns or swerves while riding
  • Always use hand signals, especially at intersections
  • Always ride in the dedicated bike lanes
  • Never hitch onto cars

Final Words

“With the increasing number of road accidents and the vulnerable nature of cyclists, bicycle safety is a key area of concern. You can actively increase your safety on the road by wearing appropriate attire and the right safety gear,” says says accident attorney Dennis Abrams

However, you should note that these factors alone are insufficient in boosting your road safety. You also need to exercise road discipline and observe traffic rules. This way, you will be taking part in making our roads safer for everyone. 

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