Bicycling is a popular way to both commute and enjoy the outdoors. It’s ecofriendly, inexpensive and great exercise. However, there are risks attached to riding a bike in a busy city.
Biking has become an increasingly popular way to travel around cities in recent years. Some studies show that it’s also a very safe form of transportation. This is assuming, though, that both bicyclists and drivers are taking proper precautions.
It’s important to be extra careful when cycling in a busy area, due to the increased traffic. Here are some tips to stay safe when cycling in the road:
- Stay off your phone. A cell phone is one of the easiest ways to distract yourself when biking. Keep it safely secured in your pocket.
- Don’t linger in blind spots. As much as drivers need to be aware of you, you should be mindful of them – and when you might be out of their line of sight.
- Follow all rules. Make sure you’re clear on all traffic rules, as they apply to cyclists. When biking with traffic, be sure to ride in the right side of the lane. Follow signs, use appropriate hand signals and avoid biking in prohibited areas – including highways, expressways and thruways.
- Never bike under the influence. Drugs and alcohol prohibit your ability to make rational decisions. It can be just as dangerous to bike under the influence as it is to drive.
- Keep your bike in good condition. You should frequently check your tires, bell, mirrors and reflectors to make sure they’re intact and working properly.
- Carry children correctly. Florida law requires any child under the age of four or under 40 pounds to ride in an appropriate child-size seat or carrier, or else to be securely attached to the rider – in a backpack or sling.
- Wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet is good practice no matter what your age, as it has been shown to significantly reduce traumatic brain injuries in an accident. In addition, the state of Florida requires any cyclist under the age of 16 to wear a helmet whenever they ride.
Biking can be an easy and fun way to get around, but it poses a threat if you don’t act carefully. Remember to follow these tips so you can get where you need to be safely – and return to your loved ones at the end of the day.
In the event of an accident
While responsible and defensive cycling can help to minimize the risk of an accident, it doesn’t eliminate the chances of one occurring. If you’re cycling and an accident with a motor vehicle does occur, the results to you can be severe. However, following the above safety guidelines can help to prove that the driver was at fault – which can make it easier to hold the driver accountable.