Biking is one of the best ways to get around. It’s great for exercise and can be fun! Millions of people ride bicycles every day, and accidents happen. Bicyclists are at risk of getting into an accident on the road for many reasons.
While you can’t prevent all bike accidents from happening, taking proper precautions can help avoid them or make them less severe when they happen. If you’re from Chicago and find yourself in the unfortunate position of a bike accident, hiring a Chicago bicycle accident lawyer can help you with your case.
Keep reading to learn more about why bicycle safety is important and how to avoid road accidents.
Why Bicycle Safety Is Important
It should go without saying that staying safe while riding a bike is important. No one wants to get hurt riding to work, exercising, or going wherever else. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), even though bicyclists only make up 1% of the types of vehicles on the road, they account for more than 2% of people who die in motor vehicle accidents annually.
To put it in perspective, more than 130,000 bicyclists injure themselves in accidents annually, and around 1,000 die from those injuries. You don’t want to be one of those people. Learning proper bicycle safety can keep you safe and get you home to your friends and family without injury.
How To Avoid Bicycle Accidents and Stay Safe On the Road
No one gets on their bike intending to get into an accident, but they happen. As you head out on your bike, here are some top ways to avoid bicycle accidents and stay safe while on the road.
Wear a Helmet
Your first line of defense in an accident is your helmet. Wearing a helmet can prevent traumatic brain injuries and makes an accident less severe than it could be. Plus, wearing a helmet is required in many states and for specific age groups.
Learn Basic Road Rules
Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you don’t have to follow the road rules. Following the same rules that cars do can help keep you safe. You need to obey all street signs, road markings, and signals to help avoid accidents, just like you would behind the wheel of a car.
Check Your Bike Before You Ride
It might seem tedious, but always check your bike before you ride. Be sure to look at the wheels to ensure they have air and that your brakes are in good condition. Accidents can quickly happen when one or both of these factors aren’t in good condition.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Chicago is an enormous city with things happening at every corner. It can be easy to get distracted while you’re riding, but you must always be aware of your surroundings. Always looking both ways, looking for hazards like potholes and pebbles, can help keep you safe.
Always Use the Hand Brakes
Whenever you need to stop, you should use your hand brakes. They’re there to help you stop smoothly and safely. Always check them and be aware that weather conditions affect how well they work.
Make Sure Your Bike is Easy to See
When a car can’t see you, it increases the risk of an accident. You can add lights to your bike, use bright colors, and more to help improve your visibility.
Make Sure There is Enough Space Between You and Vehicles
Always ensure you leave enough space between you and the car in front and behind you. Staying at least four feet away from vehicles is a good rule of thumb. This way, you can react quickly to unexpected braking without worrying about hitting the car in front of you or getting hit from behind.
The best ways to avoid bicycle accidents on the road are to wear a helmet, be aware of your surroundings, and follow all the road rules. You can only control your actions, but following the best ways to stay safe will make you less likely to get hurt while riding your bike.