Once winter finally gives way to spring, in the Schaumburg and Greater Chicago metro area, bicycles become common sites on our roads and sidewalks. people head out to enjoy the beautiful weather. Experienced bikers know that laws for allowing bikes in traffic lanes are often ignored by frustrated and irrational drivers.
While most drivers use common sense, bikers also have a responsibility for their own safety. As the saying goes, "The graveyard is full of people who had the right of way."
Even though they can't prevent all crashes, bicyclists can take steps to improve their safety. They still must rely on drivers to help them to avoid accidents. Here are some tips that all bicyclists can use:
Wear reflective bright clothing
Bright clothing that has reflective properties can help you to remain safe. This makes you easy for drivers, other bicyclists and pedestrians to see. While the reflective properties aren't going to do much during the day, they are very important at night. If you do plan to ride at night, you might want to use lights that blink or shine to help drivers to see you even better.
Additionally, you need to make sure that you wear an appropriate helmet. It should be one that fits properly and can protect your head if you are involved in accident. You must check it before each use. If you fall or are in an accident, you should get a new helmet.
Make your moves predictable
You can't make sudden moves when you are riding your bike. Instead, make sure that you are predictable. Learn the hand signals to let motorists and other bicyclists know where you are going. This alone might help you to remain safe. Even if you don't see anyone else around, you should still use these signals so that they become a habit.
Don't try to play chicken
People might become so focused on who has the right of way that they are willing to take risks to make sure they get that right of way. This can be very dangerous when you are on a bicycle and around vehicles. Instead of trying to push your right to go, be willing to yield to others who may not be willing to stop. Waiting a minute is a better option than getting slammed into by a car.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Some bicycle accidents aren't because of others on the roadway. Obstacles in the bike path can be very dangerous. If you aren't paying attention, an obstacle can cause you to fall off your bicycle and into oncoming traffic. Overall, be sure that you are alert and ready to react if you face hazards or are involved in an accident.