In recent times, the number of deaths resulting from bicycle accidents has been on the rise. The instances of fatal bike accidents have been surpassing all the other traffic-related deaths. The rise in fatal bicycle accidents in the United States began around the year 2011. Since then, an additional 55% riders have been killed in accidents every year.
More recent statistics point out to the fact that roads are not getting any safer. The good news is that individuals have the ability to reduce the risk of a bike accident to a great extent. Here are some of the steps that can ensure your safety while cycling:
1. Wear your helmet
You can reduce your risk of a serious injury to a great extent by wearing your helmet. This has also been echoed by the researchers every now and then. Not all states in the US require cyclists to wear a helmet. This gives most of them a reason not to wear helmets.
Head injuries are the cause for most of the deaths due to bike accidents. Unintentional deaths by bicycles can be prevented simply by wearing a helmet.
2. Check your bicycle before you ride
You can reduce the risk of a bicycle-related accident by getting your bike checked. Helmet and other gear must also be checked before hitting the road. See to it whether the tires have been inflated properly. You must also check your bicycle’s reflectors and lights to ensure that they’re in a working condition. Inspect the chains and gears for any defects, fractures, or other issues.
Such simple measures can prevent the fatal accidents. Malfunction of a bicycle or its equipment is a major contributor to many of the crashes. Bicycle accidents are not always caused by the driver who is distracted. Nor does a bump on the road always causes bike accidents.
3. Make sure your hands are on your bike
Think twice before riding your bicycle hands-free. It might look good in the movies, but can be extremely risky in real life. This is especially true when you’re sharing the road with the other vehicles. You might be confident about your sense of balance.
However, if your hands aren’t on the bike, it can delay your response to an unexpected situation. A few examples are a pedestrian crossing the road all of a sudden or debris on your path. As a result, you’re more likely to fall from your bicycle or cause an accident.
4. Know the signals and make use of them
Most of the bike accidents occur on an intersection or close to it. So, it’s extremely necessary that you’re fully aware of the bike hand signals. This will help you in communicating with the drivers and cyclists nearby. A driver can’t anticipate your next move on the road unless you give a fair warning.
Your hand signals must be absolutely clear and obvious to the drivers nearby. Make sure that your hand signals are clear and obvious. Accidents can be prevented if every single individual on the road understands this pretty well.
5. Stay away from sidewalks
Sidewalk biking can be quite dangerous for several reasons. First, the sidewalks belong to the pedestrians. When there are crowds on sidewalks, you’re more likely to lose control and crash into a pedestrian. Second reason is that sidewalk pavements can be uneven when compared to the asphalt on the road. Because of this, you might hit a bump or a crack on the sidewalk. This can send you flying and cause a major accident.