Infographic: Biking Safety Guide for Rookies
Biking is a fun and healthy activity that people of all ages can enjoy. From kids to adults, and even the elderly, biking can provide a lot of benefits, especially to our health. But, to maximize the positive effects of biking, we first need to ensure that we follow the bicycle safety rules of the road.
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Always Wear a Helmet
In 2015, around 45,000 bicyclists experienced injuries on the road and there were more than 8,000 fatalities. This is according to the most recent statistics available from the US Department of Transportation.
Helmets play a major part in these numbers because they can help reduce head and facial injuries and most importantly, they can help save lives.
A helmet is not just an accessory, it is a bike safety equipment and a life saving gear. That is why, you should not be riding a bike without one. It may not be too comfortable to wear, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Equip Your Bike with a Headlight
The law requires bicycles to be equipped with headlights or lamps on the front, especially when the bike will be used at night. The light should be able to give out a white light that will be visible from at least 500 feet.
In most, if not all, states, there is a requirement for bikes to have active and passive lighting.
Active lighting is a type of light that requires an action for it to be activated. It also refers to lighting that requires battery or electricity and must be turned on for it to work.
On the other hand, passive lighting is a type of lighting that does not need any human action to be activated. It can work as long as there is a light source directed at it. Simply put, passive lighting refers to reflectors or any reflective material.
A headlight is a type of active lighting that is needed for safety purposes. You need it so that you will not end up hurting yourself or others, especially when you often ride your bike at night.
Stay on the Right Side of the Road
One of the most important bike safety tips for adults is that in order for you to ride right, you must always ride on the right. This is to ensure that you are where others expect you to be.
Staying on the right side of the road means you are complying with the traffic laws and you are also reducing the risk of getting involved in a crash.
Riding on the left side of the road is actually one of the common causes of crashes involving bikes and other vehicles. It is because if you ride on the left, pedestrians and car drivers will be looking away from you.
Usually, they will look in the direction where traffic comes from, so a collision is more likely to happen.
Get all the Necessary Gears
Aside from helmets and headlights, you also need to have other safety gears to ensure a safe bike ride. The most basic is the type of clothing that you should wear.
If you are riding during the day, it is best to wear bright or light colored clothes. If you are riding at night, wear reflective clothing so that other road users can easily see you.
If you do not have a reflective gear that you can wear at night, the next best thing is to wear a white top. For your feet’s protection, wear shoes that enclose your heels and toes.
For your hands, wear cycling gloves, especially during the colder season. However, make sure that your gloves will not make it hard for you to operate your brakes, bell, and other gears.
Practice Waving as a Form of Signal
Hand signals are important for cyclists to show their next action to other road users. Make sure that you know the basic hand signals before you hit the road to avoid any accident.
Keep in mind that the left hand is used to make signals because the right hand is needed to keep the bike stable. If you find it difficult, spend some time practicing in an area with little traffic.
As a bicycle rider, there are a lot of bicycle safety facts that you should know. Having the proper information and gears is not just for your own safety, but for the benefit of other road users too. It is important to be safe, but you need to be responsible too.