Florida cyclists know how important helmets are for biking safety. However, there is much more to staying safe on a bicycle than just wearing a helmet. There are many precautions cyclists can take to avoid common bicycle accidents that cause serious injuries.
The main safety goal when bicycling is to avoid getting hit by a car. Car and bike accidents usually occur as a car pulls out of a side street, parking lot or driveway directly into the path of the biker. Accidents also commonly occur when a cyclist stops at a red light. After the light turns green, the cyclist goes forward and is hit by a car that is turning right. Cyclists can avoid this scenario by stopping behind cars instead of to the right of them.
Bicyclists are advised to make themselves as visible as possible to avoid colliding with cars.
- Some advise using a flag attached to the bike or catching the eyes of nearby car drivers before going through intersections.
- A bell or other noise making device mounted to the bike may also helpful when cycling near people or drivers who have their car windows down.
- A headlight is the easiest and most effective way to create better visibility. A front headlight is required at night but, for daytime, a bright, flashing will help cyclists be more visible to drivers.
- LED headlights are a good choice for daytime biking; they last ten times as long as older style lights.
- Headlamps are another ideal choice and can be mounted directly on the cyclist’s head or helmet.
- Headlamps allow cyclists to look directly at drivers and make sure they are seen.
Tips to remember
- Ride with traffic, ride single-file and stay as far to the right as possible, until stopping.
- Stop at red lights and stop signs behind car.
- Stay sober; more than 20 percent of cyclists who died in crashes in 2014 had blood-alcohol levels above 0.08.
- Carry your belongings either strapped onto the back of your bike or in a backpack.
- Avoid listening to music, texting or otherwise riding while distracted.
- Use arm signals
- Avoid busy streets
Keeping these bicycle safety tips in mind will help reduce preventable accidents.