A bicycle is perhaps the most versatile and popular means of keeping one’s body fit. Today many people use a bike to get to the job or just to move from one part of the city to another. Cycling gives us positive emotions, fills with the energy and, what is even more important, it is environmentally friendly. Cycling has a lot of benefits, but you should not forget about your safety and before taking your bike out learn 5 rules of safe cycling.
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The statistics say that around 20% of road accidents involve bikes. It is quite a big figure, isn’t it? The culprits of the accident can be both cyclists and car drivers. Bike riders sometimes do not know traffic laws well and that’s why they cannot manage their movements properly. Car drivers in their turn may disobey the rules and accidentally hit the cyclists or they might simply do not see them.
If you ride a bike it is important to know what you have to do to be safe on the road.
No place for music
Research showed that 20% of deaths of the cyclists or their injuries happen by the fault of music. Often cyclists use their iPods while driving and, as a result, they do not see what is happening on the road or sometimes do not pay enough attention to it. And because of that in 2015 in France a law was introduced which prohibits cyclists as well as drivers to use headphones while riding or driving.
Be careful with pedestrian crossing!
Many cyclists cross the pedestrian crossing without getting off the bike. It is clear that it takes less time than to cross it by foot, but in this case the risk of the accident increases by 40%. Because of the recklessness the cyclist risks to get a serious injury or even lose their life. The question is: “Do you think your life costs those five seconds that you saved crossing the pedestrian by bike?”
Bike lights and reflectors may save your life
Often bike riders forget that the motorists might not see them on the road and as so they do not provide their bikes with special bike lights and reflectors. Reflectors are passive sources of light, so they do not produce light, but they make your bike noticeable in the light of automobile headlights. If you plan to travel at night, it is recommended to install active light sources instead of reflectors, they are special bike lights. They illuminate the space in front of the cyclist when driving. The safety of cyclist in the dark largely depends on the quality of bike lights.
Do not forget your helmet
While traveling by a bicycle it is necessary to wear a special helmet that will help protect your head in case of any accidents. The research made in 1989 proved that wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle reduces the risk of head and brain injury by 85% and 88%.
Many people refuse to wear a helmet saying that it looks ridiculous. But in 2006 Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin developed an innovative helmet that self-inflates in a case of collision. It protects larger area of the head and neck and provides better cushioning.
Bike should be serviceable
Before using the bike it is important to make sure that every detail of it is in a good condition. A bicycle is considered to be serviceable if its brakes work quickly and efficiently, transmissions are clearly switched and all the joints are lubricated. The accessories must be securely fastened to prevent the wheels from locking. Confidence in the technical condition of your bike will allow you to concentrate on the road better and feel confident in the traffic flow.
So, road is a place where you must be extremely focused on what is happening around you and it does not matter who you are: a motorist or a cyclist. Everybody has to know the driving regulations and strictly follow them. Everybody has to realize their responsibility for lives of the people who are on the street. And everybody has to understand that we do not have nine lives, so we must protect the one we have as good as possible. Be careful!