Seven Ways To Stay Safe While Riding A Bike
Here’s an alarming fact: bike-related fatal accidents are surpassing all other traffic-related accidents. According to reports by the US highway authorities, nearly 55 bike riders died in accidents every from 2011 to 2014. In 2015, the number increased to 818. From 2016 onward, more than 1000 bike accident-related deaths happen every year till date, according to the CDC.
Fortunately, there are ways you can limit the risk of bike accidents. It is always better to be safe than to hurt yourself badly. Listed below are a few precautionary measures that will keep you safe when sharing the road with other bigger vehicles.
Always wear a helmet
Why are you even riding a bike if you don’t have one?
Surprisingly, a helmet is not a requirement in every state in the USA. However, according to research, wearing one decreases the risk of injury during an accident by 70 percent. As a person’s head is the most sensitive and prone-to-injury part of their body, it’s your duty as a bike rider to protect it at all costs.
Unfortunately, almost 97 percent of bikers who were casualties of an accident didn’t own or wear a helmet. Merely wearing one can save your life.
Wear or attach reflective materials
Amongst the top causes of bike accidents is limited visibility. Not the rider’s inability to see, but the visibility of the rider and the bike itself. If someone in a car or truck cannot see you, there is a big chance that you will get hit. This usually happens at intersections when people driving four-wheelers are unaware of Mr. Wanna-be Ethan Hunt speeding on a bike!
Biker support communities such as Motorcycle Rider Justice regularly provide people with training on how to be safe on their speedy two-wheelers. And one of the community’s most reliable tips is using reflective material.
Attaching reflective material on your motorbike will be of great help. It is vital that you also wear reflective clothing or a reflective helmet. Increased visibility will allow oncoming vehicles to see you better and hit the brakes in time.
Riding A Bike: Use your indicators properly
Usually, bike accidents occur near busy intersections. Knowing how to communicate with other bikers and drivers will be extremely helpful in keeping you safe. Other drivers will not anticipate when you intend to turn or stop unless you give them a signal that you will do so. Always know when to use your turn signals. If they aren’t functional, ensure that you fix them before taking your bike on the road.
Always keep your hands on the handlebars
You might be an expert bike rider with an excellent sense of balance. But even the best of experts can have a mishap. Sometimes people just like to drive hands free for the thrill. Please think twice before pulling off such a stunt, especially when you are on a busy road.
Not having your hands on the handlers also affects your reflexes. It will take you time to react to pedestrians and animals in your way while speeding on the road. If you fail to react in time, you will fall off your bike or have an accident because you couldn’t apply the brakes on time.
Follow the flow of the traffic
It is advisable to ride your motorbike with and the flow of the traffic. In simpler words, don’t go in the opposite direction as other vehicles! It ain’t Skyfall, and you’re not James Bond! You don’t see cars and bikes weave in and out of lanes, break traffic rules, or go in the opposite direction, now do you?
The feeling is ecstatic, but you might catch other vehicles by surprise because they wouldn’t expect an idiot to come from the opposite direction on a one-way road.
Stay in the biker’s lane
Most cities and states have dedicated lanes for motorbike riders. It is part of the People Powered Movement. However, these lanes are only beneficial if you stay inside them. But the moment you cross over to another lane, you’re endangering yourself. In some cases, even the law might not be able to save you if you incur an injury.
Keep away from sidewalks
Sidewalks might look safe when riding with other vehicles. However, riding your motorbike on them can be extremely risky for various reasons. Firstly, sidewalks only belong to people with two legs, not two wheels. You will crash into people if you do such a bizarre thing.
Secondly, sidewalks can be uneven and contain numerous obstacles, such as a pole or a stump. You might hit something and go flying off your bike. Lastly, cars don’t usually expect a motorcyclist to enter traffic via the sidewalk. You take car drivers by surprise, and they will end up crashing into you.
Riding A Bike: Conclusion
Bike safety boils down to a few vital tips – wear your helmet, know your bike, and your riding abilities. And of course, don’t do dumb shit on the road! You cannot control what goes on the road and how other people drive their vehicles. However, you can control how you should react to them. There is no better way to stay sane and safe than to look after yourself and be aware of your surroundings.