No matter which major city you visit, you’re likely to encounter quite a few cyclists. They may be fellow tourists looking for a unique way to explore the city or busy professionals who prefer to commute on bikes as opposed to jumping on the overcrowded (and often expensive) subway.
While cycling can be a lot of fun, and a great way to save money, cycling in busy cities does come with its risks. For example, “despite the fact that New York was under a lockdown for most of 2020, there were still 12,450 bike crashes in 2020.” As a result, it’s important that you take certain precautions in order to keep yourself (and others) safe.
Wear your safety gear.
Wearing the right safety gear, such as helmets, may cramp your street style a little, but it’s far better to stay safe – especially when you consider the fact that around ¾ of fatal crashes involve head injuries – of which the majority of cyclists involved were not wearing helmets.
You should also ensure you wear high-visibility jackets when cycling at night – as even though inner-city areas tend to be well lit, they’ll ensure that passing motorists, other cyclists, and pedestrians can see you clearly.
Plan your route ahead of time.
Another way in which you can work to keep yourself safe while cycling in a busy city is by ensuring that you know where you are going – and which route you are following. This means you can familiarize yourself with any roads you’ll be heading down so that you’re aware of the different crossings or potential hazards you’ll encounter. As a result, it will allow for a much more seamless cycling experience. It also means you’ll give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination.
Know what to do if an accident does occur.
If you’re involved in any kind of accident or collision, it’s easy for the situation to leave you feeling overwhelmed. As a result, it’s useful to familiarize yourself with the steps you should take in the aftermath of an incident so that you’re able to respond quickly and calmly. For example, you should call emergency services, if necessary, alongside gathering all relevant insurance information. You should also consider reaching out to a trusted Bike accident attorney, such as a member of the team at George Salinas. This way your best interest will be protected in the months that follow, especially if you’re going to make a claim or seek out compensation as a result of the accident. These claims can help to cover the cost of bike repairs, medical bills and more.
Always pay attention to your surroundings.
One of the biggest draws of city life is that there is always something interesting happening. However, this also comes with the drawback of meaning that roads and streets are busy and full of distractions. In a scenario where focus is necessary, this could present a challenge for cyclists. As such, you should ensure you remain as focused as possible when driving. Keep your eyes on the road and be aware of any approaching hazards. While it may be tempting to listen to music while cycling, it could take your attention away from the road.
Stay on the cycle lines.
Before heading out on your bike, try to find a route where a cycle lane is included. After all, this means you are not competing with vehicles for road space, leading to more frequent accidents or incidents. Sticking to the cycle lanes is definitely advised for beginners or those who may not yet feel entirely comfortable cycling along the roadside.
Make sure your bike is in good condition. Whether you are cycling to get fit or to shorten your commute, it’s crucial that you keep your bike in good condition if you want to keep using it on a daily basis. Good maintenance is also essential when it comes to maintaining your safety as it reduces the chances of you dealing with a malfunction while on the move. As such, you should carry out regular inspections of your bike to ensure it’s in top condition – for example, you should check the pressure of the tires and fill them when necessary. You should also check the breaks and other fixtures. If you are experiencing any problems, take your bike to a local repair shop to resolve the issue promptly. Not only will this keep you safe, but repairs that are tackled sooner rather than later are often less expensive overall – meaning it will protect your bank account too!