Millions of people ride bicycles on America’s streets everyday. Whenever they do they must ensure that they are obeying the laws and remaining safe. At least 800 people die each year from a bicycle related accident. Close to 515,000 people visit the emergency room annually from some type of bicycle injury. This figure clearly reveal that riding a bicycle is more dangerous than riding a motor vehicle. The following information will provide bicycle riders with some basic safety tips that they can use to avoid accidents and injuries while on the road.
Being visible is an important part of bike riding. Many people are hit on bicycles by motorists because they cannot be seen. This is especially true for people who ride during the night time hours. Cyclists should be outfitted in bright colored clothing when they ride. Green is the easiest color to recognize by the human eye and people should consider wearing this color when they ride.
Other bright colors that stand out include pink, yellow and orange. Darker colors are harder to see at night and should be avoided. Bikes should also be outfitted with lights and reflectors. These type of devices can also be used during the daytime so that people can see a cyclist while they ride. Wearing reflective clothing, such as safety vests, also helps people to be seen by drivers.
Riding on Sidewalks
Some statistics claim that riding on sidewalks is more dangerous than riding on the streets. Sidewalks can be dangerous but this depends on where the sidewalk is located. The problem with cyclists using sidewalks have to do with the crosswalks and parking lots.
When people get hit on sidewalks, incidents usually occur when they are attempting to ride through a crosswalk area. For whatever reasons, many are not as visible as pedestrians on foot. Parking lots are dangerous to sidewalk riders because of the same problems. Motorists have a hard time spotting them and do not realize they are around.
Keep in mind that steering wheels on American cars are positioned on the left side of the vehicle. It is easier for them to spot objects on the left side of their vehicle than on the right. When a person rides on the far right side of the road, motorist will naturally have a harder time spotting them. Again, cyclists should exercise extreme caution. These basic safety rules for bike riders are not always guaranteed to avoid accidents while out on the road but they will reduce the risk of collisions and/or injuries.