So, you’ve just bought a bike and decided that this year, you’re going to be healthier and you’ll cycle more. Congratulations on deciding to take this route! But, hold it up a little especially when you’re going to bike on the public roads and highways. You’ve got to be aware of the inherent danger you may come across and the responsibilities you’ve got to comply with.
Cycling is a fun and healthy activity. But, remember that a bicycle isn’t a toy. It’s already a vehicle. Hence, the need to ensure that you also stay safe. Whether you’re young or old, certain safety tips that universally apply.
Depending on where you’re from, the general safety laws to apply when cycling may vary. There are general health and safety tips that you can apply, as a precautionary measure. These health and safety tips include:
- Always Wear A Properly Fitted Helmet
Yes, wearing a helmet is a very obvious thing to do. But, don’t just wear ANY helmet. You have to wear one that properly fits you. Otherwise, if it doesn’t, then you’re merely just wasting the money spent on your helmet. When this is one thing that can protect your head from serious injuries, all the more that you’ve got a reason not to skimp on a good-fitting and good quality one.
That said, here’s how you can properly fit a bicycle helmet:
- Measure your head for the appropriate right size. The helmet should fit snugly, and not move from side to side.
- The helmet’s position should sit on the level of your head yet it should also be low on your forehead. There should be space above your eyebrow for about one or two finger-widths.
- It should form a “Y” on the left side and right side of the straps and meet below your ear.
To convince you further that cycling accidents are potentially predominant and serious, read their informative post here, from the expert authorities.
- Give Way to Pedestrians and Other Vehicles
The general rule to apply when you’re cycling on the road is to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles that are already on the way of the road.
This means that when people or vehicles are approaching you at a slower speed, you should stop and give way to them first before you continue. That’s only when you know that it’s safe to pass.
- Check Your Bike All the Time
Before leaving your house, you should always double-check the roadworthiness of your bike. There are two general checks you’ll have to do:
- Inflate your tires properly;
- Test your brakes to ensure that they’re working properly.
It doesn’t take much to spare a minute or two to do these two basic tests, in the name of safety. While at first, you may forget to do this, just keep making it a habit. Eventually, it’ll form part of your routine to always check before riding.
- Ride the Flow of Traffic
Even when you’re on the bicycle lane, never go against or counter-flow the traffic. When you’re on the road, this means that you’re also required to follow all of the rules that other vehicles are required. One of these is going through the same flow of traffic.
Depending on where you’re reading this from, it also means staying either on the right or left side of the road.
- Ensure That You’re Seen by Other Drivers
Regardless of whatever time of the day it is that you’re driving, always make sure that you’re seen by other drivers. Remember this general rule: Just because you clearly see other drivers doesn’t mean that they see you clearly, too.
First, apart from installing lights on your bike, it pays also to have fluorescent or reflective stickers. As to your biking gear, particularly when you’re biking at night, it’s best to use neon colors. There are also cycling gear, vests, or jackets that have fluorescent and reflective capabilities.
- Always Use Hand Signals
When you’re on the road, you’ve got to follow and obey the same traffic rules and signals as other motorists. The only difference now has to do with the signal lights.
Because you’re not driving a motorized vehicle, this means that you don’t have signal lights. So, you’ve got to do the hand signals yourself. Before making a sudden turn, make sure you give hand signals to signify to the other cyclists behind you that you’re either going left or right. This is a very simple but important move to help avoid accidents and collisions.
With these health and safety tips, you’re now more than equipped and ready to hit the road for a good and healthy pastime. Remember that riding isn’t always about the fun. There are road rules and regulations you should also comply with to ensure the safety of everyone else around you. Especially when you’re cycling in heavy traffic, difficult terrain, or in a place where there are many people, you’ve got to double-time to ensure that you stay safe at all times. Keep in mind the tips above.