Biking is the most environment-friendly form of transportation for anyone in the world. It doesn’t leave any carbon footprint and nor does it require any fuel, for it only needs a strong stamina and strong determination. However, the only disadvantage to biking is the risk that it poses to your safety as a commuter. In 2015 alone, there were almost 467,000 incidents of bicycle-related injuries in the US and 1,000 of those led to death.
In 2010, the overall estimated medical costs and productivity losses that these bicycle accidents caused led up to $10 billion—a definite loss in all the industries involved. It’s very crucial that when you go out there to bike, you have to practice precaution in order to keep yourself safe during your commute. Here’s a quick guideline on what you can do:
- Always do a routinary check on your bike before you leave the house
Knowing your bike’s condition first and foremost is a crucial step. It’s much better to be prepared than to find out a defect on your bike later on while you’re in the middle of the road which can cause much trouble in the process. So make sure that you check the most important parts of your bike:
- Brakes – a brake that doesn’t work well will definitely cause you a lot of harm for it disables you to halt your movement when you need it.
- Air – with inadequate air in your bike’s wheels, you won’t be able to travel easily. You will encounter more bumps and you’re less prone to shock absorption, leading to an uncomfortable ride.
- Chains – a bike won’t work without its chains, so make sure it’s well-oiled and it turns easily because a rusty chain will be prone to breakage.
- Dress fittingly
It’s very important that you dress fittingly when you’re commuting with a bike. Unlike being in cars, your body is much more vulnerable to external forces which can impose greater injuries. Since you’ll relatively be the smallest entity on the road against other cars and trucks, you have to stand out and protect yourself at the same time. Here are some guidelines that you should follow:
- Dress in bright clothing or with reflectors – You will be more visible when you dress in bright clothing such as white, yellow, pink, and fluorescent colors than when you dress in dark colors such as black, brown, or navy blue. At night, you should also dress accordingly: wear a reflective isotherm jacket as this provides you more visibility at night wherein it’s typically hard to distinguish a biker on the road.
- Wear a helmet – wearing a helmet can protect your head from serious injuries. Though some cities don’t require it, however, it’s all for your own safety in case you fall and hit your head.
- Wear comfortable shoes – wearing flip-flops or heels when you’re biking can cause you injuries since it doesn’t allow you to comfortably pedal. When you’re wearing sneakers, make sure your laces are tucked in to avoid it from dangling and being stuck in the pedals or the chain.
The best practices for biking safely starts with you, that’s why following these guidelines will protect you from the common bicycle accidents. After, all your safety is the utmost priority.