For the better part 2020, the pandemic has changed how most people live their lives. We have gone from social distancing and wearing masks to avoid COVID-19 spreading. As more Americans are vaccinated, many institutions are easing restrictions.
People are beginning to explore the world and live life to its fullest. With summer coming up, many will turn to cycling for their primary mode of transportation and fitness. As families begin to plan for summer, more cars will be on the roads as things return to normal. Bicyclists and drivers should be careful on the roads now that traffic is back to normal.
Safety tips for cyclists
It doesn’t matter what time you ride, safety is the most important thing. You can stay safe by being aware of what is happening around you. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and not assume others can see you. These are some tips to make sure you’re safer riding your bike.
Biking in traffic
Biking in traffic can be dangerous. Blind spots can make it difficult for motorists to see bicyclists. Keep your eyes open and allow yourself to maneuver in the event that a vehicle suddenly changes lanes or brakes unexpectedly. Use appropriate signaling. Bicyclists must follow the traffic flow in most states. However, it is important to check the laws in your locality before you get on the bike.
Although off-road biking can be a great exercise activity, it is more difficult than riding on paved roads. It also has its own risks. Standard bicycles don’t have enough durable tires to handle off-roading so make sure you have an appropriate bike. Avoid obstacles such as trees and large rocks, and wear the appropriate safety gear.
Although many states allow pedestrians to ride on sidewalks in certain areas, they have the right to do so in all other places. You may have to stop abruptly in order to avoid pedestrians, which can make it difficult for you to injure someone. Avoid cycling on sidewalks if possible. If you must, ensure you have clear sight. Hand signals are useful for pedestrians and other bikers.
Road construction can make it very dangerous for cyclists if you are riding in an area that has roads. Road construction can present unique challenges, such as unfamiliar travel patterns or construction debris that could cause punctures to your tires or even cause you crash. Construction can be dangerous. Pay attention to signs, workers’ signals, and the road for any stray items.
Safety features for bicycles
Because cyclists are totally exposed to the elements, they face unique risks. A bicycle collision can increase the risk of injury. Unfortunately, some things are out of our control. Modern bikes have many great safety features. While some features come standard, others can be added to your bike as an accessory. These gadgets make riding safer.
Night riding can be dangerous as it is difficult to see and be seen. Bike lights can improve your line of sight, signaling other motorists that you are coming. You can add bike lights to your front, back, helmet or wheels in a variety of colors.
Nearly everyone who rides these days has a helmet. Some states even require it. Even if you don’t have to wear one, it is a smart idea to use a helmet when cycling. In the event of an accident fall or crash, helmets can protect your head from injury. You can choose from a variety of sizes and adjust the straps to make sure your helmet fits your head properly.
Reflectors, similar to bicycle lights, are a great way to let others know you’re there. Although a reflector is not as bright as a light, it can still help pedestrians, cars and cyclists to see you at night. Reflectors are often pre-installed on bikes. They can be placed anywhere on the bike. They are usually located on the back, front, and wheels.
A bike bell is similar to a car’s horn that alerts other drivers, and it serves the same purpose. Bicycles can be quite quiet so people may not notice you approaching. Your bike bell can be chimed to let other cyclists, pedestrians and cars know that you are nearby. You can either purchase a bell or have one installed on your bike.
Bike road rules
To ensure safety, there are certain rules that must be followed when riding on the roads. Bicyclists are often in traffic along with other cyclists and vehicles. Before you get on your bike to ride, make sure you know the rules and are ready to follow them.
State-by-state bicycle laws
Bicycle laws can vary from one state to another. Some states require that all cyclists wear helmets, while others allow for more discretion and are more strict. You can also ride where you like in many states. Some states require that you ride in the bike lane. Others allow you to ride on highways. You should check your laws often as they are constantly changing.
Signals for bicycles
Drivers communicate their intentions by using the car’s signaling lights when driving. Blinkers signal a turn and brake lights indicate a slowdown or a stop. Bicycles do not have these lights so cyclists should use universal gestures for signalling when they turn and stop. Signaling in the right way can help prevent collisions. It gives pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers near you information about what you plan to do next.
Insurance and bicycle collisions
A collision between a vehicle and a bicycle is treated in the same way as a normal car accident. The driver’s insurance company usually covers the costs of any collision, depending on their level. If their insurance policy doesn’t provide adequate coverage, then the biker might be able to supplement it with an auto policy. It is a smart idea to ensure that your insurance policy provides enough coverage in case you are involved in a collision.
Tips for drivers
Bicyclists and car drivers must sometimes share the roads. To avoid collisions, you should do your part and ensure everyone is safe.
Respect the bike lane
Many roads in the United States have bike lanes that allow cyclists to safely travel at their own pace and not disrupt traffic flow. You must ensure that you don’t drive in this lane as a driver, except for crossing it when necessary to turn. You should also be careful not to drive in the bike lane too close or veer into it, especially if there are bicyclists using the lane.
Maintain safe distance
For everyone’s safety, it is important to keep a safe distance from bicycles while driving. Bicyclists require more time to adjust their speed. If a car follows too closely it is possible for a collision.
Continue to the left
To pass other cars in the U.S., it is best to go on the left. This is also true for cyclists. It is not only a matter of courtesy, but it is a law in some states to pass other vehicles on the left side.
Before you open doors
It is important to inspect your surroundings once you have parked your car. On major roads with bike lanes, the curb will often be parallel to the lane. Be sure to check for cyclists before you exit your car. An open door could obstruct their path, potentially causing injury, and can cause them to stop.
You must remain focused when behind the wheel of your car. Avoid distractions like cell phones and be aware of your surroundings. Eliminating distractions reduces the chance of you colliding with another vehicle and makes roads safer for cyclists and drivers.
Safety tips for children
While biking can be an enjoyable way for children to get active, it is important that they are properly supervised and ready for the road. These tips will help you ensure that your child stays safe while riding a bicycle.
Size of the bike
It is important to choose the right size bike for your child. While a small bike might be comfortable, a large bike can cause discomfort. They should be able to get on and off the bike easily and reach the pedals as well as the ground. Each child should have the appropriate accessories and bikes fitted. You should make sure that your child is properly fitted for their bikes and accessories.
- Reflectors and lights: These reflectors help children see clearly at night and are easily noticed by others.
- Bright clothes: Brightly colored clothing will make your child stand out when you’re driving. This will allow drivers to see them easily and help avoid any potential crashes.
- Proper footwear: It is essential to protect your child’s feet from dirt and other debris. Flip flops can cause injury when they are worn.
- Bell or horn: Children use bells or horns to alert others when they are riding in a particular area.
- Training wheels: Training wheels are helpful for beginning bikers to maintain their balance.
Where to ride
Your child should be able to ride safely and enjoy riding with you. While every family’s rules might look different, here are some safety tips you can incorporate into your family’s bicycling rules.
- Keep your child close while you are riding your bike. You can easily intervene if necessary by keeping them close to you.
- Do not stay up too late: Bikers and drivers alike can find it difficult to travel in the dark. To ensure safety, children should be stopped riding their bikes once the sun sets.
- Avoid busy roads: Children are often smaller than adults, making it difficult for drivers to see them. They may also not be as careful on the roads as adults.
- Respect traffic signals: This helps to avoid possible collisions. Your children should be taught to pay attention at traffic lights and street signs so that they can know when they have the right.