By: Crockett Law
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5 Ways to Stay Safe When Biking
1. Always wear a helmet
This is the oldest safety rule pertaining to bicycle safety. However, advanced technology has greatly improved helmet performance in bicycle accidents. For example, modern bicycle helmets can prevent a traumatic brain injury where the cyclist hits his/her head on a hard surface. A new helmet is better equipped to absorb the impact.
What is the secret behind new helmet technology? Better foam insulation is installed to protect and secure the brain during impact. A new helmet will sustain most if not all of the impact, instead of your head and brain. Modern bicycle helmets are well worth the cost. Many high quality helmets can be purchased for less than $30 dollars.
What helmet are you using? To read more about safe bike helmets, read our recent evaluation of the safest helmets available. Alternatively, do you think wearing a bicycle helmet should be a mandatory law? Check out our top rated article on this issue.
2. Check the tire pressure prior to riding
Many people take to the roadways on a bike with inadequate tire pressure. The result can be very dangerous. A bike with improper tire pressure increases your risk of a bicycle accident. Low pressure means a slower ability to maneuver your bicycle away from potential road hazards. A bicycle with adequate tire pressure will be able to easily turn and move at a faster speed. A tire pressure gauge and pump is available for less than $10 dollars.
Also, if a tire bursts you could potentially fall off of your bicycle. For years, adequate Tire pressure has been an attributable factor to rollover automobile accidents. The same tire pressure calculation is true for all types of vehicles read our safety tips related to rollover accidents.
3. Oil your chain with lubricant
For most people, riding a bike does not involve a frequent check of the chain’s integrity. The chain on bicycles is the equivalent to a transmission in a car. If the chain breaks the bicycle is effectively useless because the pedals will no longer be able to turn the tires. Keeping a check on the chain could help you avoid a bicycle accident, especially if you are bicycling up or down a hillside.
4. Wear sunglasses if glare will be an issue
Glare causes car accidents- why would it not be the same for bicyclists? In fact, each year thousands of bicyclists are involved in accidents where the sun limited the cyclist’s vision. Specifically, they lacked the ability to see approaching cars or other cyclists. Sunglasses are a must for bicycle safety. The best sunglasses provide a polarized lenses or a lens that enhance your ability to observe ground surfaces as you cycle. A basic pair of sunglasses with these features can be purchased for less than $25 dollars.
For more information and other tips on how to prevent an accident read our extensive article on bicycle safety.
5. Avoid wearing headphones that greatly diminish your ability to hear oncoming traffic.
Let’s face it – earbuds and headphones have become an active part of our lifestyles. We take music on the go and sometimes we sacrifice safety without realizing it. When you are operating a bicycle it is important that you pay full time and attention.
Consider, using only one earbud while cycling as this will allow you to have partial hearing ability. Better yet, purchase a wireless speaker for your bike. A wireless speaker will allow you to have the functionality of both ears.
Avoid blocking out your ability to hear other cars or bicyclists. This could save your life.