Bicycle Basics: How to avoid bicycle related injuries

Spring is just a couple of days away. As the warm weather approaches more bicycles will be on the road, meaning that more bicyclists will be injured. As a bicyclist, how can you protect yourself?

One of the biggest mistakes bicyclists make is assuming they always have the right-of-way. Prior to operating a bicycle it’s important to review the rules of the road for motorists, as these same rules apply to bicyclists.

  • Stop for red lights (make complete stops)
  • Obey all traffic signals and signs
  • Signal your turns with hand signs
  • Yield the right-of-way to other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and animals

There are several ways to reduce the chances of being hit and lessen the extent of the injury if you are hit. Below are safety tips that every bicyclists should follow:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Use a bright light and wear reflective clothing if riding in the dark or at dawn or dusk
  • Wear bicycling gloves to protect your hands and sunglasses to protect you from glare on the road
  • Check your tire pressure and brakes
  • Purchase a mirror to see approaching cyclists or motorists from behind
  • Ride in groups of 3-10 and avoid riding alone
  • Be aware of your surroundings and defer from using cell phones and other devices while riding
  • When biking in cities, be mindful of other vehicles. Keep an eye out for the driver side door and driver blind spots
  • If possible, avoid busy, narrow high speed streets, especially during heavy traffic times