Bike riding has increasingly become a preferred mode of transportation. It is a way to get outside and enjoy a fun workout while saving money on gas. California especially is a hotbed for bicyclists because of the warm weather and optimal riding conditions. However, biking can be a very dangerous activity if riders do not take the necessary precautions.
Bicycle accidents hurt or kill hundreds of people every year. According to the NHTSA, 783 bicyclists died in accidents with motor vehicles in 2017. Sharing the road with motor vehicles can be a challenge but taking the proper safety precautions can make your bike rides much safer and fun.
Put on a helmet
Every veteran bike rider has heard that they need to wear a helmet hundreds of times. You have to do everything in your power to protect your head. Wearing a helmet may not seem cool or comfortable, but you are considerably more likely to survive an accident if you have a helmet protecting your head.
It is important to find a helmet that both suits your style and fits snug, so you can enjoy your ride while adequately protecting yourself.
Wear visible clothing
The clothing you wear is also very important. Not only do you want to wear clothing that will soften the blow if you fall off your bike, but you also want to have clothes on that makes you visible to traffic.
If you are someone who often rides during the evening or late at night, wearing the correct clothing is even more crucial. The darker the clothing you wear during the late hours, the less likely drivers will be able to see on you the road. You do not necessarily need to wear flashy clothes, but your goal should be to find clothes that make it easy for drivers to clearly see your position on the road.
Ride with traffic
Los Angeles is one of the most populated cities in the United States. Naturally, there is plenty of traffic as a result. As a biker, your goal should be to make sure that you are always riding with the flow of traffic. It is very dangerous to ride opposed to traffic because it makes you much more susceptible to getting into an accident with a motor vehicle. Riding with the flow of traffic will give you more time to react to a situation and also allow other drivers to see you better.
Obey traffic laws
Riding a bike can be very freeing. The wind is at your back and you may feel like you do not need to abide by the same rules as motor vehicles. That said, you should do everything in your power to follow standard traffic laws. Those laws are in place to keep you, other bicyclists and drivers safe.
Keeping an eye on road signs and abiding by basic traffic laws can keep you safe and visible to other drivers. Breaking traffic laws can put you in an unanticipated situation that could cause you harm.
Check your bicycle before riding
It is extremely frustrating to ride a few miles down the road only to find out that your bike needs repairs before riding again. Make sure you do a quick review of your brakes, wheels and other parts before you start riding. If you fail to make sure your bike is in good condition before riding, you could lose control and get very hurt. Taking just a few moments to look over your bicycle before getting on the road could prevent a serious accident.