Riding a bike can be fun. It is also a recommended method of commuting by both health practitioners and environmental conservationists. With the increased number of vehicles on the roads and the delays using vehicles can bring, bikes’ usage to commute around has increased. As you ride a bike, there are a few things that you should be aware of.
Cycling is one of the safest means of transport. However, sometimes unexpected things happen, and you don’t know what to do to ensure your safety and wellness. Most importantly, knowing the various risks you face can help you to be keener and safer on the road. Here are a few of the most common risks you should be aware of as you head out cycling.
The Risk of Accidents
Well, this one is pretty obvious, especially for avid cyclists. When cycling on the road with other motorists, the risk of getting into an accident is often higher because of the way bikes are created. For instance, bikers have to use hand signals instead of indicator lights when taking turns or merging in traffic. Moreover, injuries as a result of a bike accident are often more severe for cyclists compared to other road users or those sustained in other types of traffic accidents. This is why cyclists are always required to wear the necessary protective gear. When involved in a bike accident, it is advisable to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible before or after seeking medical attention.
Uneven road surfaces are a real danger to bike riders. Unlike other vehicles, bikes do not give you much safety when the road is full of potholes. You need to check your biking speed as you ride on a new road or one you know is not in the best condition. It is important to be mindful when riding in groups as this might obscure your view of the road and end up landing on a pothole. As much as riding is fun, you need to make sure that you are always careful.
Filtering and Overtaking
When we are caught up with traffic as bike riders, we tend to try and maneuver through stationary vehicles. Other times, the other vehicles are just too slow, and having a bike with the ability to overtake, we can’t resist the temptation. It is at this point that you should be careful. At most times, the car drivers are also in a rush to reach their destination. They might be looking for the slightest chance to get out of their position and evade traffic jams. If you meet, then this can be very messy. When overtaking, you should be sure that you will make it; otherwise, you might get hit, which is unfortunate.
Even for other vehicles, the roundabout is one of the most dangerous places. It is even more dangerous if you are on a bike and the exits from the roundabout are many. At this point, there are two common case scenarios:
- A motorist might emerge from one of the side roads without letting a biker pass, maybe because they didn’t see them or because of arrogance. This is why, as a motorist, you should always have reflective clothing to make sure that other motorists can see you.
- A motorist might try to overtake you and leave you very minimal space when turning off to a roundabout. This car might hit you or push you to the edge, and you end up hitting other things on the road.
These accidents are caused by negligent drivers making it hard for a biker to evade. You should always have protective gear when on the road and observe all the rules for your safety.
In most countries, you find that some bike paths run through parking lots. As a bike rider, you need to be aware of the risk of riding through these areas. Also, if the parking is somewhere around the highway or a road, you should always try to be careful in these areas. Always ride in a central position when riding through areas of residence and parking lots. This puts you in a situation where you can avoid any incidents.
Just like roundabouts, this is one of the other areas that you should be keen on. Accidents at this point of the road are prevalent and, at times, can be fatal. Like roundabouts, there are two possible case scenarios here;
- Motorists emerging onto the main road and colliding with bikers riding past the junction.
- Motorists fail to give way to when they pass across oncoming traffic.
In most cases, the motorist will claim that the bikers were not visible. Therefore, it is imperative that you always have the right cycling safety gear and always turn the light on when riding at night. Being on the right side of the rules will help you decide to file for a personal injury claim through an expert attorney. Nonetheless, it is better to be safe than filing these claims lying on a hospital bed.
Bikes are good for your health and the environment as well. However, like any other good thing, it has its flaws and risks. There are many risks related to riding bikes. The above are just a few that you really need to watch to ensure your safety and other road users.