Problems with safety – If you prefer reaching your destination without using motorized vehicles, probably your first choice is the good ol’ bicycle. In that case, you are probably aware that the biggest opponents to your safety are the ones who don’t share your opinion, and prefer cars or others types of motorized transport. In the past few years there have been numerous, daily cases of injured bicycle riders on their commute. Although blame should not be placed solely on car drivers, it is also the responsibility of cyclists to take precautions in order to stay safe and avoid injury.
Protective gear – The first and most important asset to cycling safety is the helmet. The helmet has also become an obligatory item to be worn in many places, including Australia, who was the first nation to make it mandatory. It protects the most vulnerable part of the body, thus purchasing a high quality helmet should be carefully considered. Every cyclist should wear a helmet at all times when riding their bike, regardless of the distance that is to be traveled, yet many riders fail to do so. The helmet must be marked with a Standards sticker, as only those are legally approved. This has caused much confusion, but it is an attempt to make sure that all helmets are compliant with regulation and provide the proper level of protection.
Visibility – Another aspect is safety of the bike itself. This includes having an attached horn or a bell onto the bike to make you ‘visible’ to other bikers and pedestrians, and having at least one working brake. The clothing the bicyclist wears should be modified to the needs of the commute. This is an important safety measure to ensure the rider’s visibility. Proper clothing should be worn day and night to be suitably visible to car drivers, other bicycle riders, and pedestrians. Clothing characteristics include highly visible and reflective material and colors. Some of the clothes and accessories on the market are reflective vests and visibility vests, and various glowing, flashing and reflective bands. Reflective tapes and stickers can also be placed on the hardware, or a simple bike flag can do the job instead.
Other precautions – In addition to the visible clothing, cyclists should also wear armor pads and guards, especially on longer or more treacherous commutes. Night riders are required to have a combination of flashing lights when commuting. Front flashing white light, which is visible at night for 200 meters or more, is one of them. The second one is a front red flashing light, also visible for 200 meters or even more. The last requirement is the rear red reflector, which should be clearly visible from 50 meters of distance. Not following these requirements can not only place you in danger of getting injured as a bike rider, but can also result in penalties. Be sure to know all proper regulations, such as cycling distances to be maintained between riders, other vehicles, and pedestrians.
Are you familiar with the cycling regulations in your area? How likely are you to wear a helmet when you ride your bike? Please leave your comments below..