Our Most Essential Bike Safety Tips

Author: Cycling Deal Date Posted:1 August 2016

Considering the many benefits of bike riding – such as health benefits, lower carbon emissions, and saving money on fuel – it’s not totally surprising that the risks sometimes get overlooked.

Despite improvements to road conditions for bikes, the massive gap in strength and power between cars and bikes mean that bikes on the road are inherently at risk. That’s why it’s always worth making sure you understand bike safety properly.

Don't Let Your Next Ride Be Your Last

Every year in Victoria, there are hundreds of serious injuries to cyclists along with numerous deaths. Most bike crashes occur at intersections and half of all casualties are due to interactions between bikes and cars. Because of this, much of what follows will be about bike safety on the road, plus some basic ‘bike safety 101’ guidelines.

  1. Wear a Helmet, Your Hair Is Not That Great

Okay, your hair is fantastic, forget I said anything! But even your glorious mane isn’t worth showing off if it might land your brains on the pavement. So wear a good quality helmet every time you ride.

  1. Think Like a Car

Motorists are far less likely than cyclists to sustain serious injuries in an accident. If a car rear ends another car in a 50 kilometre/h zone the biggest injuries are likely to be financial. Change the rear ended vehicle to a bike and broken bones, punctured lungs, and death is suddenly on the table.

Safe drivers constantly check for other cars and adapt their driving to match the flow of traffic, and you should be doing the same. Always scan behind you before turning or changing lanes and be sure to signal your intentions. Try to make eye contact with drivers as well. This will make them more aware of you and also ease communication of intentions. Wearing bright clothing during both the day and night is also helpful for remaining visible.

  1. Parked and Dangerous

Don’t think that a car poses no danger to you just because it is parked. Be aware of doors opening in your path, as these can cause serious accidents. Also, be aware of people walking around their vehicles to enter them or to cross the road. A collision could cause injury to both you and the pedestrian. In areas with high levels of foot traffic and parked cars you should ride more slowly. Stays focused on your surroundings and keep your hands ready to brake.

  1. Be a Square

Follow the rules. I know you don’t like to hear that, but there are pretty good reasons for road rules. So obey all traffic signals, signs, and rules.

  1. Turn on a Bike Light

When riding at night there are a lot of special rules to follow, CW note: link to night safety article (blog post 14)  but the most essential is to have bike lights on the front and back of your bike and always have them on from dusk ‘til dawn. Also, sleep is important – lower your night riding frequency if you find yourself getting tired.

  1. Be Predictable

I’m going to ask you to be predictable. Not in your life, necessarily, but definitely in your riding. The more regular and predictable your riding habits, the easier it will be for cars, other cyclists, and pedestrians to safely share the road or bike path with you.

For a safer ride, get all the cycling apparel that you need. Shop online with Cycling Deal for a great deal on safety gear.

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