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Stay safe in the snow with the right bicycling tips

Chillier weather in Illinois makes it less likely that cyclists will be on the roads, but it doesn't mean everyone will pack away their bikes for the season. The reality is that anyone can cycle at any time, but they're more at risk of getting into a crash if drivers aren't expecting to see them.

As someone who enjoys riding year-round, you should know how to make yourself stand out in every season. Better gear is just one way to help yourself stand out when it's sunny, snowy or rainy. Choosing the right jacket color, using lights on your bicycle and even having a horn may help save your life.

What are some good tips for staying safe in snowy weather?

If you plan to ride your bike in snowy weather, recognize that drivers may not be watching for you. They might be focused on controlling their vehicles or trying to see through snow that hinders their vision. The best thing you can do is to be on the defensive. You should always watch for drivers and make sure they see you before you pass in front or beside them.

Another good tip is to have studded tires. The last thing you want is for your bike to hit a patch of ice that throws you into traffic or makes you slide into the path of a nearby vehicle.

You also need to have the right headgear. You can wear fleece skull caps and balaclavas under a helmet, just make sure that the helmet is still snug to your head. And if you do fall, the extra layers will provide more protection.

Finally, know your limits. If you're going to ride but the weather is too bad, opt to get on public transportation. Most buses have a rack for bicycles, so you can put yours onboard and ride back home. Trains usually allow bikes, too, if you have to get a ride home. Some taxis and Uber or Lyft vehicles also have bike racks, so you can grab your new ride without leaving your old one behind.

Snowy weather is common in Illinois, but so are cyclists. Make sure you're dressed for the weather and have the right tools to help you stand out and stay safe if you are hit by a car. The weather is dangerous, but with some easy precautionary measures and defensive biking skills, you can stay safe.

Those cyclists who have suffered injuries due to a careless motorist may be able to claim compensation. They should speak with a personal injury attorney to learn about their legal options.

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