Riding your bike comes with plenty of benefits. Whether you ride on the weekend for exercise or you use it to commute to work every day, you can get in shape, save money and fight pollution. Despite these advantages of cycling, you face unique risks when sharing the road with motorists. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were approximately 467,000 injured bicyclists in 2015.
Coming into contact with a motor vehicle could cause devastating injuries, so it is crucial for you to be as safe as possible. While you cannot control the actions of motorists, you can take some steps for accident prevention. Here are top bicycle safety tips from the CDC.
1. Have the right gear
You should have some essential safety equipment. Most importantly is a helmet that properly fits you. A helmet can reduce brain injury and other types of head trauma if you get in an accident. Carrying some items for minor maintenance problems is helpful, too. Consider bringing an air pump, replacement tube, multi-tool wrenches and a patch kit on long rides.
2. Increase your visibility
Drivers need to see you in order to avoid crashing into you. Wear fluorescent clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night. You may also want to get white headlights, red taillights and tightly secured reflective tape.
3. Obey the rules of the road
Always remember that your bike is considered a vehicle and that laws apply to you. Always follow traffic lights, stop signs and any road markings. Use a bike lane whenever possible. If there is not a bike lane, use the right lane. Use clear hand signals to indicate any lane changes and turns.
If you are a responsible cyclist, you can reduce your risk of accidents and injuries. Make sure you follow these tips whenever you are on the road.