Cycling is an enjoyable activity for many people. It has a positive impact on your physical and mental health, as it reduces stress and improves muscle tone without adding pressure on your joints. It’s also an affordable and eco-friendly form of transportation that many people use. There’s no doubt that cycling is fun. Whether you’re in the city, suburbs, or in the woods, you can take your bike to get from one point to another. However, just like all means of transportation, there’s always a risk of injury. No matter how careful you are, you might still get involved in an accident.
As a cyclist, getting in an accident can be inevitable, but with some preparations, you can reduce that risk or prevent severe injuries. Here are the common dangers of riding a bicycle and how to avoid them.
Potholes are a real danger to many bikers, even the most experienced ones. In many cases, going over a pothole can be unavoidable, because all the other options will put the cyclists in more danger. When the rider doesn’t see the pothole, they will either go over it, which can damage the bike itself and cause severe injuries to the cyclist, or they will try to dodge it. Sometimes dodging a pothole means suddenly riding further into traffic, risking getting hit by a car.
The best way to avoid potholes is by familiarizing yourself with the road before traffic. If you’ve just gotten your bike, or you’ve moved to a new neighborhood, take a ride early in the morning to see where the potholes are to avoid them when riding in traffic. In case a sudden obstacle appears on the road, know your options, calculate the risk, and take the option with the least damage.
Usually, parked cars are not a danger, but in some cases, they can cause injuries. A lot of bikers ride beside a parked car without considering the risk involved. However, you can get knocked off your bike if a car door is opened. It’s a very common accident that causes serious injuries to bikers. You should also know that sometimes, people move out of their parking spot without checking the mirrors. So if you’re riding behind a parked vehicle, keep in mind that it might move at any moment.
Even though these accidents aren’t the cyclist’s fault, it is their responsibility to avoid them, as they’re the ones that will get hurt. There are hundreds of court cases where the biker wasn’t the one at fault but suffered a severe injury. Bicycle accident lawyers present these results to show how common these cases are and how to get compensated if you’ve been involved in this kind of accident. It’s true that the person in the vehicle should check the mirrors before moving out of a parking spot or opening their doors, but not a lot of people do that. For this reason, it’s essential to take these probabilities into consideration when riding a bicycle.
When riding a bike in a city, the chances of getting into an accident are high, especially in busy traffic. Cyclists are more likely to maneuver around cars to get past the traffic, which puts them at risk of getting hit by a car changing lanes. Not all drivers check their blind spot when they change direction or lanes, and if the biker is in their blind spot, they will probably get hit by the vehicle.
Staying away from the vehicle’s blind spot is the ultimate way to avoid this particular situation. If you’re riding in traffic, try to stay on the side as much as possible. If it’s not applicable, ensure that the car in front of you is not going to change lanes before you pass by.
Riding your bike when it’s raining can become a risky situation. Cycling in heavy rain makes it hard to maneuver your bike or take turns even on the safest roads.
It’s better if you can avoid riding in the rain and use another means of transportation, but if you have to ride your bike, you should ensure that you have the right gear for it. Proper riding attire, non-slip bike grips, and high-grip tires are the essentials to keep you safe when it’s raining.
Even if you’re an experienced cyclist, you should always take the necessary safety measures every time you ride your bike. Know that not all accidents are caused by drivers; some of them happen due to the bicycle malfunctioning, or because the biker wasn’t keeping an eye on the road. Check your bike and all of your equipment before you ride, and always wear a helmet, as it can prevent severe brain injuries. Avoid using your phone or taking your hands off the handlebars, as it will take you a long time to react to any unexpected situation.