Helmets save lives. There’s no question about that. But, strapping on a helmet and calling yourself good to go isn’t necessarily the safest way to traverse the roads.
Being well-rested and fed
Emerging studies are asserting that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving in many ways. While many of these studies focus on automobile drivers, the same risks would be present for drowsy bicycle and motorcycle riders.
A lack of sleep can cause riders to have difficult focusing, balancing, keeping their eyes open and riding in a safe lane position. Making sure you’re rested can help you stay alert to ride safely and defensively.
Also be sure you’ve eaten a sufficient amount before mounting your bike, as low blood sugar can cause you to feel shaky and fatigued.
Precaution against the sun
The sun presents several injury risks, including sunburn, dehydration and limited visibility. Avoid these by using sunscreen, bringing a bottle of water and wearing sunglasses and other attire designed for the heat.
The right bike
It’s important to ride a bike that you can control. For example, you should ensure that the bike:
- Fits you
- Has functional breaks
- Is equipped with a functional front and rear light
Always ride your bike correctly, with both hands on the handlebars and following traffic laws. If you are not totally familiar with the bike you are riding, stick to quiet rural roads or parks while you practice.
To improve your visibility, it’s a good idea to choose bright colors while picking out your helmet, clothing and other gear. You can also go from reflective or light up material if you will be riding at night.
You can also increase the visibility of the bike itself by adding lights and reflective material to it.
Secure loads properly
If you are making a run to the grocery store, make sure you have a secure means to transport the load back safely. Additional items should either be carried in a backpack or in a basket that can be safely strapped to the bike.
Items that are too heavy or secured in a fashion that throws off a rider’s balance can result in an accident.
Know where you’re headed
Always plan your route ahead of time. This way, you can choose routes with less traffic and lower speeds. You’ll also be a lot calmer and less distracted if you aren’t worrying over the next direction.