Whether you ride your bicycle recreationally, to exercise, or to commute to work and save money on gas, there are many hazards bicyclists must face on a constant basis. Based on a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 900 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits as a result of bicycle-related injuries.
Most bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations. Minors and you adults (15-19 years old), as well as adults 40 years of age and older, have the highest bicycle death rates. Fortunately, there are ways you can further protect yourself from being involved in a devastating accident.
The following are helpful bicycle safety tips:
- Wear a helmet. Bicycle helmets reduce the risk of suffering a head and brain injury in the event of an accident. Helmets should be used every time you ride.
- Stand out. Wear bright, vibrant apparel that is reflective when motor vehicles shine their lights at night. Furthermore, install flashing lights for increased visibility during the evening.
- Remain constantly aware of your surroundings. Keep your head on a swivel and look out for any approaching vehicles. If your route is a high traffic area, consider installing a side view mirror to help see vehicles behind you.
- Look out for opening car doors. Ride at least three free away from parked cars if room on the road permits. You can anticipate opening car doors by looking out a few cars ahead while you bike.
- Avoid passing cars on the right-hand side. A vehicle may not see you pass by on the right and collide into you while attempting to make a right turn.
- Never stop or wait in a motorist’s blind spot. Rather, stop or wait behind a vehicle.
- Keep away from parking lot exits. In addition, stay away from sidewalks.