For all those who ride bicycles, whether they are professional or weekend cyclists, practically everyone has had some experience with accidents on board their bikes, right? Whether those tumbles when we are still children or major accidents involving the chaotic traffic of cities, no one is immune to fatalities of this type. But how can I avoid bicycle accidents? It is to answer this question that we created this article.
Meet the Cyclist Who Are You
Before talking about aspects related to the environment and the people around us it is crucial that you recognize what your profile is as a cyclist. Do you use your bike to go to work or study daily? Do you use it for weekend recreation? Or do you use the bike once a year when vacation comes? Knowing this is key to determining what your risks are and what you should be more or less aware of.
It is also important to recognize what your bicycle limitations are. You do not have to say this to everyone, think quietly and think to yourself: how do I ride a bike? I walk well on roads or in traffic? Do I just have the confidence to ride bike paths? Or even just indoors? How is my ability to react to an obstacle? Having all of this in mind is important in order to avoid a situation where there is no possible reaction and the accident is inevitable.
Believe, having knowledge about what you are capable of or not doing confidently is an important item for your safety. It’s no use going to make super confident road track with years of practice on the asphalt, are different things and you need to recognize your limitations to avoid more serious accidents.
With this in mind and the environment you often ride with your bike, it will be easier to understand which advice best fits your profile as a rider.
Safety Equipment: Before and During a Bicycle Accident
We could not talk about accident prevention, let alone security equipment. A lot of people who think that safety equipment is one that is only meant to prevent us from major problems during an accident are also responsible for preventing many accidents from occurring.
Basically we must stick to these two types of safety equipment in transporthint, those intended to prevent accidents and those intended to prevent further injury when the accident is already inevitable.
In the first category we highlight the importance of the use of signaling equipment such as warning vests, reference lighting on bicycles and even the use of”horns”to avoid collisions against pedestrians, for example. This equipment has its recommended use as a way of being better seen by the other elements of the traffic, avoiding the old excuse of many for”tonight and I did not see you there”. Use a reflective vest and lights attached to your bike to avoid this kind of situation, it costs little and may be what you need to avoid a serious accident.
The second mode of safety equipment is not less important as it prevents you from suffering more serious injuries when an accident can no longer be avoided. In this way, the use of at least the helmet is fundamental, because we never know when we can suffer an accident by our route, however ordinary and commoner it may seem. Do not leave without a helmet and think of other equipment according to your need, some activities such as mountain biking, may require a greater number of equipment to maintain its integrity assured.
Show Your Intentions
A common cause of traffic accidents is the lack of communication between those involved, either by passing a crossing, changing lanes or stopping abruptly. It is necessary that you always indicate what your intentions are when making a change in your trajectory.
So if you turn around, signal your intention with your arm, look and follow where you want to go. You will cross a track, make sure there are no obstructions, state your intention to stop or turn around, and move on. Are you going to get in or out of a bike lane? The procedure is the same, indicate your intentions always to avoid picking up someone unawares and use the horn or”bell” whenever necessary, rather a little noise annoyance than an accident.
Keep your distance
There is a great attempt to raise the awareness of city traffic in relation to the space for bicycles on public roads. When in doubt whether or not people take this stance, take a defensive stance to keep the distance from other vehicles. Often it is not possible to keep the 1.5 meter that is combined, but seek to take a defensive measure in traffic as between cars and buses, you are the smallest representative on the road.
Whenever possible, walk along existing bike lanes and when this is not possible, find options with lesser flow of vehicles to get around. This will avoid your exposure in busy avenues, for example.
Another important aspect to travel in the midst of major city traffic is to note how much you are accustomed to sharing space with cars, motorcycles and trucks. If you already have experience and are better accustomed to the daily life of this environment, the better. But if you’re a newbie, go slow, start on quieter streets, and gain confidence as you find your space in traffic. As we said at the beginning of the text, knowing its limitations is fundamental.
Remember that in traffic the bicycle is also a vehicle, give preference to pedestrians, do not puncture red signals and be careful in conversions and overtaking.
Recognize the Environment and Your Equipment
When venturing with your bike in a new environment it is interesting that you keep in mind what type of terrain you will encounter.
Of course it is possible to make a quiet trail with your everyday bike, but thinking about doing a more intense trail can be a bad idea. There are differences in the bicycles destined to the road, the tracks or the daily use, possessing limitations and equipment specially destined to its function. In this way, leaving with an unprepared equipment for an extreme route can be a bad prediction for accidents.
Always check the environment you must pass and you have the appropriate equipment for this type of work, avoiding possible accidents or the breakdown of your equipment.
Keep your bike up to date
Another cause of accidents may be a lot closer to you than you think, it’s on your own bike! Always keep an eye on the conditions of your bike, if it is in full operation, if the components are in good condition and everything is up to date.
A problem on your bike during a pedal can end up in a serious accident depending on the situation where you are. Make a review whenever possible and keep an eye out, whenever something looks strange, seek expert help.
Avoiding accidents while using your bike is an ongoing task and requires our attention at all times. We can not neglect our safety and it is best to be alert to all possible signs so that no accidents occur.
Understand your qualities and limitations as a cyclist, use safety equipment wisely and efficiently, adopt defensive postures in traffic, signal and indicate all your actions while driving your bike and always try to get to know your equipment and Where you will walk, with all this you will be further away from a possible accident.
Your safety is a daily task, in which we must always keep our eyes open to prevent the worst from happening. It is essential to always be attentive and cherish the good relationship between all the individuals present in the traffic of our cities.