Riding a bicycle has numerous advantages. They’re clean, compact, and a great way to stay in shape. More people are riding bikes and major cities are stationing multiple bike rental kiosks. Unfortunately they also make you very vulnerable and susceptible to accidents. There are constant moving vehicles that may have a hard time seeing you. There could be dangerous potholes or other unstable terrain. There are any number of hazards that could be disastrous for cyclists. Luckily there are ways to help insure your safety.
You’re able to cut down on your chances for an accident by combining a few different methods. Location, preparation, and awareness come together for safety. For instance, cities are installing bike lanes. They assure a designated area for bikes to safely travel. These lanes are a big help for bicycle safety, but personal awareness is paramount. Even while in a bike lane you’re not entirely safe. Drivers might not see or even ignore the bike lanes. Random car doors could open and send you bouncing down the street. That’s where safety gear comes in.
Elbow and knee pads are great to prevent broken bones and skin loss from a fall, but helmets are exceedingly more important. Obviously the head needs maximum protection. Any unprotected fall could lead to a concussion. Even a seemingly mild tumble could gash open your head, and head wounds bleed significantly more. Helmets aren’t even exclusively for falls. You can pick up quite a bit of speed on a bicycle, and there are plenty of solid, stationary objects that are at head level. A helmet could be the difference between safety and a sharp branch through the head.
Safety gear isn’t always defensive. Bright colors and reflectors mean greater viability to those around you. A great deal of bicycle accidents are caused because the driver of a vehicle simply not seeing the cyclist. Bikers can also find these runner safety tips of use.
Bicycles are fun, but only when everyone gets home safely. Working together with everyone on the road can help make sure that this happens. Always erring on the side of caution also helps. People that take unnecessary chances on bicycles are dangerous. You can’t know for sure what a car or truck is going to do. Regardless of who was right or wrong, regardless of the law, physics is not on your side. Metal beats meat. Preparation is incredibly helpful, but caution and situational awareness can’t be matched.
Written by Ryan Nelson
Ryan is a young professional from NYC who catches a concert or stand-up comedy show whenever he can. He is usually found riding around Manhattan on the Citi Bike, whether it be on the rush hour streets or one of the various bike paths.