Bicycle safety is something that everyone should consider, not only if you or your children frequently bike, since most people encounter bicyclists when driving on a daily basis. In this article we will talk about safety reminders and laws for bicyclists, and other things to consider before hopping on your bike.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle injuries are falling or crashing when not wearing a helmet, riding your bike on the wrong side of the street, trying to cross the street anywhere other than a crosswalk, and not following traffic signs and signals. But most of these can be easily avoided! First, you should always wear a helmet when riding a bike. Second, make sure to look both ways before you enter a street, even if you are coming from a parking lot or driveway. Double check your look, too, in case you missed a vehicle the first time. Third, before crossing in front of a car, make eye contact with the driver to make sure they see you and know that you plan to cross. Also, always follow traffic signs and signals!
Another important element of bicycle safety is checking your equipment and gear to make sure everything is in working order. First, start with your bike. Make sure you buy a bicycle that fits your size. When standing over the bike, there should be 1-2” of space between you and the bar. Then check your ABC’s:
Air: Make sure your bike’s tires are fully inflated.
Brakes: Check your brakes!
Chain: Your chain should be well oiled before you ride.
You should also make sure you are wearing a helmet that fits properly, since a well-fitted helmet reduces the risk of serious head injury by 85%. Your helmet fit should be snug, level, and low. To make sure of this, check that your helmet doesn’t wobble from side to side, and that no more than two fingers can fit between the chin strap and your chin. Then, check that your helmet is centered on your head and not tilting forward or back. Lastly, make sure your helmet is low enough to cover your forehead. It should not sit more than two fingers width above your eyebrows. Lastly, if you ever do fall or crash and damage your helmet, make sure to buy a new one before you ride again!
If you follow these simple guidelines when riding your bike, you will make your experience a much safer and more enjoyable one.
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