Cycling can be a great mode of transportation. It can be a fun activity that also helps you get some exercise. However, part of cycling is to share the road with drivers, which means you may be constantly on the lookout for oncoming cars, buses, trucks and many other larger vehicles. No matter how experienced of a cyclist you may be, accidents can happen unpredictably, and it is important to practice safe and defensive cycling habits when you're on the road. Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself on the road:
- Remain visible: Consider wearing bright colors so that drivers can have an easier time spotting you amongst loud and fast-moving traffic. It is especially important to remain visible at night. If you are cycling in the dark, you may want to wear a reflective vest or other reflective clothing so that drivers can spot you from a distance when their headlights shine on you.
- Helmets are helpful: Many people might forgo wearing a helmet when they ride a bike, often because it may not seem necessary. Yet, simply having a helmet on can make a huge difference during an unexpected accident, potentially preventing serious head or brain injuries.
Ride with the traffic: Bicycles are legally considered vehicles, which means that cyclists are also subject to following regular traffic laws. This means that you may not perform any illegal turns, and you may not run any stop signs or red lights. Obeying traffic laws can help prevent any surprise incidents on the road that could lead to an accident.
Avoid the sidewalk: In Georgia, it is illegal to cycle on sidewalks once you are over the age of 12. While it may seem easier to avoid traffic altogether and protect yourself on the sidewalk, doing so could become a safety threat for pedestrians whom you could accidentally collide with.
Safe cycling habits may be your best approach to avoiding an accident
Sharing a lane with drivers can be daunting for many cyclists. Consider taking a course on safe cycling practices or investing in a helmet if you do not already own one.
It may be impossible to control the decisions of other drivers, but practicing safe cycling habits could be your best bet for avoiding any accidents caused by road negligence.