According to the National Safety Council, more than 1,000 cyclists died in preventable transportation accidents in 2019, representing a 37% increase over the prior 10 years. Motor vehicle collisions caused most of these fatalities.
As a cyclist, you can take steps to help increase your safety while on the road.
Prepare your bike
You should ensure your bicycle is the right size for you and the seat and handlebars are properly adjusted. A bad fitment could make it difficult to control your bike. Follow manufacturer instructions regarding tire pressure.
Wear the proper gear
You will want to wear the proper safety gear, including a helmet and reflective clothing. In addition, dress appropriately for the weather. Make sure to tuck loose pants and shoelaces into your shoes or socks to keep them from becoming tangled in your bike chain.
Watch for dangerous conditions
Many hazards that pose little threat to passenger vehicles can be extremely unsafe for cyclists. Watch for these common dangerous road conditions:
- Uneven pavement
- Poles, mailboxes and signs too close to the roadway
- Potholes and other damage to pavement
- Wet leaves and puddles
Ensuring that cars and other cyclists can see you is perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent a collision while riding your bike. Equip your bicycle with lights and reflectors. Stay out of the blind spots of other vehicles on the road.
Motorists have a responsibility to watch for cyclists, but you also have a responsibility to follow all traffic and cycling laws. Doing so will help to ensure you make it home safely.