What Dangers Do Cyclists Face?
One of the most vulnerable groups on today’s roads, cyclists are up to 30 times more likely to get injured on the road than drivers and up to 18 times more likely to be killed. An informed cyclist is a safe cyclist, so it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the various risk factors that you may come across on your journey. Some of the top risk factors include:
- Cycling too fast or too slow
- Consumption of alcohol or drugs
- Going the wrong way on a cycle path or road
- Riding on a pedestrian footpath
- Traveling at night-time or in poor lighting conditions
Is Your Bike Roadworthy?
Keeping your bike in good working order is critical. As well as being safer, a bike that is well looked after will be easier to ride, more reliable, and more fun. If you haven’t used your bike in a while or if your bike is getting old, then you should take it to your local cycle shop for a service. Additionally, you should perform a few safety checks before setting off on any journey:
- Squeeze the tires to see if they are adequately inflated.
- Test the brakes to see if they can actually stop you.
- Spin the pedals to see if they securely attached.
- Check to see if the chain is sufficiently oiled and apply some bike-specific lubricant if needed.
- Carefully inspect each wheel for cuts and remove anything that has become embedded in the tread.
Must-Have Cycling Safety Gear
Equipping yourself with the appropriate gear will help to prevent accidents and can also protect should an accident occur. The kit you will need is dependent on a range of factors including what type of cycling you do, how far you ride, and how fit you are. Generally speaking, however, you will need the following items:
- A good-quality and well-fitting helmet: Wearing a helmet has been proven to greatly reduce the odds of getting a serious head or face injury in an accident.
- Active lights: A bike that is fitted with active lights will increase both the visibility of the bike itself and its rider themselves in poor lighting conditions.
- Mirrors: These give cyclists the ability to see behind them and can be especially helpful if you are wearing an item of clothing that limits your peripheral vision.
- High visibility clothing: These make sure that drivers can clearly see cyclists. Research indicates that cyclists are over 50% less likely to be involved in a collision with a motor vehicle when wearing high-visibility clothing.
- Gloves: These are a must if you are cycling in the rain or if you sweat a lot as gloves will boost your grip on the handlebars by absorbing all moisture.
- A bicycle-specific first-aid kit: This should include any supplies that you will need to treat any wounds, scrapes, and bumps that you may experience on the road.
Before you pedal off on your next big adventure, why not take a few minutes to go over these basic cycling safety tips from Hussey Fraser Injury Solicitors.