Cycling helps improve cardiovascular health, joint mobility, muscle strength and many more. However, it can also put your safety at risk if you don’t follow safe riding practices. Use these tips to avoid bicycle accidents and injuries.
Always wear a helmet
Wear a comfortable helmet that fits properly. It serves as the head’s protection against serious injuries. Choose a helmet that meets the Australian/ New Zealand safety standards (AS/NZS 2063:2008.)
Check the bike before you ride
Always check the condition of the bike before you use it. See if the brakes are working, the tyres are properly inflated, the chains are well-lubricated, and if any of your bicycle accessories are damaged.
Know the road rules
There may be some slight difference on road rules based on the state that you are living in, so if you are not sure of a particular law, it is best to ask. However, in general, follow the flow of traffic when riding a bike.
Use hand signals
Be familiar with the different hand signals and use them to avoid accidents. Practice hand signals for stopping, turning and changing lanes.
Be visible at all times
This means wearing bright coloured clothes or using reflective tapes. Bicycle accessories like flashing lights will help you be more visible especially at night. Installing a bell will help call the attention of pedestrian and other vehicles.
Do not wear earphones
One rule of thumb when cycling is to “Be Wary”. Wearing earphones wouldn’t help you to be wary at all. You’d get distracted, and it would be difficult to notice sounds from approaching vehicles.
Do not make sudden turns or change lanes as doing so could lead to a crash or an accident.
Stop, look, and listen before making a turn
Stop before crossing or when you reach the end of a street to see if there are any approaching vehicles. Always give way to speeding vehicles.
Ride with both hands on the bike lever
Keep your hands on the lever at all times, except when making a hand signal.
Watch out for road hazards
Road hazards like uneven and slippery surfaces must be avoided.
Practising proper riding techniques will make the biking safer. Always follow the road rules and review these tips every once in a while for safe cycling.