Taking the right precautions and riding in the right places can make cycling a safe activity. Despite this, there are some risks associated with cycling for the rider. Keeping yourself safe while cycling involves being aware of certain risks. You will be able to ride your bike safely if you keep these tips in mind. The following article provides more information about why cycling is dangerous and how to mitigate those risks.
Why is cycling dangerous?
The same things that make cycling beneficial also make it dangerous. Bicycles are human-powered vehicles, so we cyclists must do all the work of moving forward with our strength. This means we’re also responsible for our own braking and steering.
If you are reading this article, you are probably already partial to these advantages of cycling over driving a car, but it’s important to remember that the risks that come along with those benefits are real and serious.
There are certain risks while cycling that every rider should be aware of so that they can take steps to keep themselves as safe as possible. These tips will help you stay safe on your next ride. Read on for more information about why cycling is dangerous and how to mitigate those risks.
Riding on the Road
The biggest danger to cyclists is riding on the road, where they are exposed to the most risk from cars. The best way to avoid this is to follow these tips when riding on the road.
- Stay as far left as is safe. If there is oncoming traffic or you can’t see around a bend, you might need to get as far right as possible.
- Ride in a single-file line when two or more of you are riding together.
- Never go out without a helmet. You can save your life by wearing a helmet.
- Use lights and reflectors when it’s dark out. Don’t forget to turn these off when it’s light again.
- Avoid riding on the sidewalk when possible. Especially in urban areas, this is a dangerous place to be a cyclist. Sidewalks are built for pedestrians, not cyclists.
- Park your bike at a bike rack when you can. If there is nowhere to park, lock your bike to a sturdy pole or signpost.
- Take a cycling course. There are many resources to help improve your skills as a cyclist.
Risk of injury from biking
The most common injury while cycling is a fall caused by hitting potholes or uneven road surfaces. Skin lacerations are the most frequent type of injury, followed by fractures, sprains, and strains. Head injuries are also common, particularly among cyclists aged 18–25 years, who are more often involved in cycling accidents.
It is possible to divide cyclist injuries into two categories – minor injuries and serious injuries. Minor injuries include abrasions, lacerations, contusions, sprains, and strains. Serious injuries include fractures, dislocations, head, and spinal cord injuries, internal organ injuries, and death.
Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to head injuries, as the unprotected head is vulnerable to impact with the road surface or with objects on or beside the road. Cyclists may also be injured by a sudden failure of their bicycle or by a defect in its design. This is particularly common in children’s bicycles.
Cyclists should also be aware that the law does not hold pedestrians or cyclists to the same standard as drivers of motorized vehicles. Drivers of motorized vehicles are expected to be aware of cyclists and pedestrians on the road and drive accordingly.
Cycling at Night Is Also Dangerous
Riding at night puts you at a higher risk of being hit by a car because they can’t see you. It is, therefore more dangerous to ride at night than during the day. Here are a few tips to keep yourself safe when riding at night:
- Wear bright clothing. Reflective clothing is best. Even though you may think that black clothing is more flattering, it is much harder for drivers to see you in the dark.
- Wear a headlight. A headlight is a great way to make yourself more visible to cars, even on cloudy days or during the twilight hours when there’s still some light.
- Use a red rear light. Red light is less blinding than white light.
- Get a flashing light for your Seatpost. This is a great way to add a little more visibility to your ride.
Being Hit From Behind
Being hit by a car is the most dangerous thing that can happen while cycling. More cyclists are killed by cars from behind than any other source. Here are a few tips to ensure that never happens to you:
- Be sure to ride near the right edge of the road when oncoming traffic is present to avoid being hit from behind. If there is no oncoming traffic, ride farther left so that you’re more visible to drivers.
- Always ride in a single file line when there are multiple cyclists.
- Make sure you don’t ride too close to the curb. Be careful not to get caught in the blind spot of a car behind you.
- When approaching an intersection, always let drivers know you’re there by ringing a bell or using your hand to let them know to stop.
- Avoid being distracted, and don’t use your phone while cycling.
Use lights and reflectors
Cycling between sunset and sunrise requires cyclists to use lights. Having lights when riding during the day is also a good idea, as they let drivers know you’re there. Cyclists should also use reflectors on their clothing, particularly on their backs. Reflectors are especially important when the road is wet.
The benefits of cycling include exercise and environmental protection. But it’s important to remember that it is a sport and a form of transportation that comes with a certain amount of risk.
There are certain risks while cycling that every rider should be aware of so that they can take steps to keep themselves as safe as possible. Keep these tips in mind when riding your bike.
Now that you know about cycling’s dangers, you can take precautions to keep yourself safe. Follow these tips when you get on a bike next time!