Ways to Stay Safe on Your Bike Commute
It’s bike-to-work week, and whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just thinking about giving bike commuting a try, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stay safe on the road. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on your commute.
Safety Checks Before Mounting Your Bicycle
Before you even get on your bike, it’s important to do a quick safety check. Make sure your tires are inflated properly and that your brakes are in good working order. If you’re not comfortable doing a bike safety check yourself, take it to a local bike shop and they’ll be happy to help.
Think of your cycle like your car and check it over before each trip and also get it regularly serviced. Then it should not let you down or cause an accident that harms you or another. There are no guarantees, of course, because of the unpredictability of others, but you can certainly narrow the odds of something happening while you are cycling by having your bike well maintained.
Always Wear a Helmet
There are many different types of bicycle helmets available on the market. It is important to choose a helmet that is both comfortable and safe. When selecting a bike helmet, be sure to look for the following features:
- A bike helmet should fit snugly on your head. There should be no space between the helmet and your head.
- The helmet should have a strap that goes under your chin and secures the helmet in place.
- There should be reflective material on the helmet so that you are visible to drivers in low-light conditions.
Bear in mind the above and you will be better protected because of protecting yourself physically and being more visible to others. We do not want to give anyone the excuse they did not see us and blame us for the accident. Worse still, we can be injured when the driver simply could not see us coming. We owe it to everyone to be a responsible road user whatever our mode of transport.
The first clue to how responsible we are in the eyes of a court, should there be a compensation claim made, will be whether we were wearing a helmet. Less sympathy can be played upon if we weren’t. Lawyers will do their best but we have to play our part in helping them to build a strong case on our behalf.
Be Aware of Surroundings
Once you’re on your bike, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Be sure to signal when you’re turning, and always yield to pedestrians. If you’re riding in traffic, be extra cautious and follow the rules of the road. Be particularly aware of the rules relating to cyclists as well as the overall rules relating to car drivers.
Use Designated Cycle Paths and Lanes
Bicycles will be designated their own road space in many places around the world. The areas are typically marked with bike lanes or signs, and they provide a safe space for cyclists to ride without fear of cars.
When riding in a bike lane, it is important to stay within the lane markings. Riding too close to the curb can be dangerous, as cars may try to pass you in the same lane. It is also important to watch for debris or obstacles in the bike lane and to yield to pedestrians who may be crossing.
If there are no cycle lanes available, it is generally safest to ride on the far right side of the road, so that you are visible to oncoming traffic.
Bicycle commuting can be a great way to get some exercise while also reducing your carbon footprint. By following these safety tips, you can bike commute with confidence knowing that you’re doing everything you can to stay safe on the road. Always have a personal injury lawyer’s phone number to hand, though, just in case you need their advice or another has been careless.