Cycling can be dangerous because you have to contend with motor vehicles. When drivers make mistakes, they can severely injure cyclists, even at low speeds – these same drivers typically come out of an accident uninjured.
If you do plan to ride, you know that you can’t fully eliminate this risk. There are always going to be other people who make mistakes. But here are a few things you can do to make yourself safer:
At dawn or dusk, you definitely want to have lights on your bike. In fact, a strobe LED light can even be effective in getting someone’s attention during the day. Another way to increase your visibility is to consider your clothing. Bright colors are very helpful, and reflective tape can reflect light back at approaching drivers.
Don’t listen to music
Listening to anything on a pair of headphones or earbuds is very distracting. It can also insulate you from the environment that you’re in, which means you may not see any danger signs before an accident.
Ride with traffic
You never want to ride against traffic on your bike, but instead want to move with it, on the right side of the lane, on the shoulder or in the bike lane. Walkers and runners are the ones who are supposed to move against traffic.
Stay off of the sidewalk
Finally, people sometimes ride on the sidewalk, as they think it will be safer, but it’s actually been found to be more dangerous. Cyclists can be hit by cars that are turning, so they should never ride on the sidewalk.
No matter what you do, you can’t eliminate the chance of accidents entirely. If you do get injured in an accident, you may want to take the time to look into all of your legal options to seek compensation.