4 Critical Biking Safety Tips for Urban Riders
Did you know that the most dangerous time to be riding a bike is between six to nine pm? That’s when most crashes happen, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
That means you need to heighten your commitment to biking safety during those hours, but you should never really let your guard down.
For four ways to stay safe on two wheels, read below.
1. Wear a Helmet
No, we’re not joking and yes, the tips after this will be more creative. But wearing a helmet when you’re biking has been shown over and over to be the best thing you can do to protect yourself.
We understand that some people think that it looks nerdy and that it poses a challenge about where to put the helmet when you’re not using it, but those aren’t legitimate excuses. There are bike baskets to store your helmet in, ways to clip them on your backpack or briefcase, and bike bags that lock for safe helmet keeping.
As for other people’s opinions of how it looks — more than just your biking safety will improve if you can find a way to stop caring about those.
Since you know you should wear a helmet, why not just have fun with it? Buy a helmet (make sure it fits appropriately) that makes you smile. Whether that means it’s glittery, it has spikes on it, or it has characters from your favorite show decorating it.
Helmets prevent 60% of deaths from head injuries: don’t you want to be one of them?
2. Don’t Ride on the Sidewalk
In most places, it’s illegal for bikes to ride on the sidewalk. The idea is that bikes belong in bike lanes, but the existence of those bike lanes differs greatly depending on where you are.
If it’s between riding on the sidewalk and riding on the street (no bike lane), the right thing to do is stay on the road.
If you’re frustrated by the lack of bike lanes in your area – you can communicate your request to your local department of transportation. You never know how many other people have complained and your remark may be the one that pushes them towards action.
3. Never Bike Without a Light
As a bicyclist, you’re responsible for your safety – not the cars around you. That’s called defensive driving and while it’s not very fair, it’s a mindset that saves lives.
Unless it is bright daylight, as in, not getting close to dawn or dusk, you should always have a bike light. They’re cheap, their batteries last forever, and there are tons of fun options.
4. Know Your Rights as a Bike
When you’re biking on the road, traffic laws govern you as a vehicle. That means you can get a ticket for just about anything a car can – including running red lights or biking under the influence.
That also means that if you’re in a bike accident, you need to go through all the same steps as you would if you got in a car crash. For more info on bicycle crashes and how to litigate them, meet with a bicycle crash attorney.
Biking Safety: It Comes Down to You
When you’re sharing a road with vehicles that are more than triple your size and weight, you need to constantly be on the lookout. These biking safety tips could be the difference between life and death, no matter how dramatic that sounds.
We hope you’ll keep these tips in mind next time you mount your bike. For more helpful lifestyle tips, make our site your homepage.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.