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Tips for staying safe while cycling

Cycling safetyIf you are an avid cyclist, you may find cycling is the best way to get around when you are traveling. There are several countries, such as the Netherlands and Denmark, where cycling is even a preferred form of transportation. Regardless of where you are traveling, if you plan to cycle you need to make sure you have the proper gear that will make you stand out and be noticed by drivers.

If you are riding during the day in traffic or after dark, you need to make sure you have taken the proper actions to make yourself and your bike stand out and be seen. Don’t assume that drivers will see you. Instead, you need to do everything you can to improve your visibility. Making sure you are visible during the daylight hours is just as important as lighting up at night.

Making Yourself More Visible

The European Transport Safety Council has emphasized visibility is a key issue in bicycle safety. They refer to the problem as “invisibility” as cyclists can be hidden and difficult for drivers to see when traveling the roadways together. The council goes on to say that while a cyclist is four times more likely to be involved in a crash at night, you should consider that you can end up in a darkened tunnel even during the day. Cycling visibility is not simply about being seen at night. It is about making yourself visible whenever you decide to go for a ride.

There are dozens of pieces of gear that are sold to make cyclists more visible and prevent accidents. While you can’t transport an entire suitcase of cycling accessories designed to improve visibility, you can focus on the most important and the most effective tools and make sure you have them ready for your cycling adventures.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you are riding, the same visual problems exist and you have to make yourself stand out so you will no longer be “invisible” to those operating vehicles on the same roads where you ride.

Gear to Make Cyclists More Visible

While there are dozens of pieces of gear available to make cyclists more visible, you should focus on those that are required by law and proven most effective.

To decrease your odds of getting in a crash, you should choose dependable gear and make sure you are working to make yourself seen.

For Nighttime Visibility

  1. A white headlight is a must-have for cyclists. Some cyclists prefer to have this light constantly flashing to improve visibility. If you prefer flashing lights to get attention, make sure you check the laws where you will be riding to see if a flashing headlight is permitted.
  2. Red LED taillights are also a must. Place the light where it is not blocked by luggage or your clothing. You can get one, that serves as a passive reflector as well as a taillight. Make sure you have extra batteries and regularly check to make sure your taillight is working properly.
  3. Reflectors! Make sure your bike is visible from the front, back, and sides. Reflectors should be placed in the spokes, on the pedals, and on the fenders on both sides. You can also use reflective tape to help brighten up your bike and make it even more visible.

For Daytime Visibility

  1. Wear a brightly colored helmet and jacket or jersey. Brighter colors, such as yellow, red, orange, hot pink, or neon green will get you noticed much more quickly than wearing black or white, which blends in to your surroundings. A safety vest, which is brightly colored and has reflective strips will also help you get noticed at day and night.
  2. Use LED lighting that you can keep on during the day. Remember, as you ride through the forest you can get caught up in the background. Make yourself and your bike stand out and be noticed.

 

Always Stay Alert

Regardless of how visible you have made yourself and your bike and the amount of cycling experience you have, you should always stay alert. The risk of being involved in a crash is real and you need to do everything you can in an effort to reduce those odds and protect yourself.


*This Article was written by Personal Injury Law, however this article is not intended to be legal advice nor should it be construed as such. To learn more about Personal Injury Help, you can visit their website at www.personalinjury-law.org or email them at help@personalinjury-law.org.

 

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