Bike Safety Tips and Reminders for Cyclists

In 2021, 966 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The National Safety Council reports that there were 102 fatalities and approximately 136,753 emergency room visits due to bicycling injuries for children up to age 19 in 2020.

When a vehicle and bike are in a crash, it’s the cyclist who is most likely to be injured. As a cyclist, it’s important to follow bike safety tips and rules of the road to stay safe. Most crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists are aware of each other and follow the rules of the road.

Wear a Properly Fitted Helmet

Always wear your helmet when riding a bike. Look for a helmet that fits securely and is U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certified. The label should include the date of manufacture, which is helpful if there is a recall. The CPSC label tells you that the helmet meets the federal safety standard. Some helmets may also include ASTM2, Snell3, or ANSI4 certifications, meaning that they have also passed safety standards for those organizations.

If you’re between helmet sizes, choose the smaller size or wear a cycling cap or beanie to improve the fit of the larger helmet. Your helmet should be snug but not too tight, sitting level on your head with the front edge one inch or less above your eyebrows to protect your forehead.

Keep in mind that bike helps are designed to absorb a single impact. If your helmet is involved in any type of accident, consider it damaged, even if it looks okay. Helmets should be replaced every five years, even if you’ve been crash-free.

Ride Responsibly

The top factor in fatal bike crashes is failing to yield the right of way. Bicyclists not being visible to drivers is another major issue. Yield the right of way and wear clothing that increases visibility. If you’re biking in the morning or evening, use reflective gear and a white front light plus red rear light and reflectors on your bike.

All states require cyclists on roadways to follow the same rules as motorists. Choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds when possible and use bike lanes or bike paths when available. Stay focused and alert to the road and traffic around you. Driving defensively allows you to act faster to avoid a potential crash.

Drive with the flow of traffic and in the same direction. Always obey street signs, signals, and road markings. Assume the other driver doesn’t see you and avoid distractions such as texting or listening to music. Look out for hazards such as potholes, grates, and train tracks.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.