Safety tips for riding a bike in the city

Are you someone who has decided to turn to riding a bike instead of continuing to drive a car? Maybe you just want to ride a bike more for its health benefits. Regardless if it is to get you more fit or ease up on the cost of driving a car, riding a bike can be extremely dangerous.

New York City was recently listed as the second most dangerous city for bicyclists, only trailing Los Angeles, California. Even the safest city for riding a bicycle in the state of New York was Syracuse, and that city was ranked #537 nationally.

If you are a well-seasoned rider or a casual one, it is important to brush up on things you should remember when riding a bike. Simple precautions can help prevent a serious injury or even death.

Avoid car doors – It is wise to never assume that a parked car is empty or that the driver of a parked car will look before opening a door. Allow yourself a few feet when going past car doors.

Watch for pedestrians – Being on a bike means you are considered the same as a vehicle. As so, you must follow all traffic laws and you must give pedestrians the right of way. If you do not yield to a pedestrian, you could face a fine.

Watch for blind spots – Blind spots have been the cause for many serious accidents for bicyclists. Pay particular attention to large trucks and buses who usually have larger areas of blind spots. One way to combat a blind spot is to stay in an area where drivers can always see you. Vehicle right turns can also be dangerous for bicyclists when riding alongside on the shoulder of the road.

Be easily seen and wear a helmet – You should always ride wearing bright clothing and even reflectors, especially at night. Consider having a light on your bike and have it on regardless if it is day or night. If you ride a bicycle and do not wear a helmet, you may want to reconsider since head and brain injuries are common in bike accidents.

Plan your trip ahead of time – Knowing the roads, traffic and terrain of where you will be riding will greatly increase your ability to stay safe.

Do a bike pre-check before riding – Looking over your bike prior to riding not only ensures there are no problems that could cause danger, it helps to keep your bike in good condition.

Riding a bike next to cars and trucks can be very dangerous. By taking precautions before heading out on the road, it may mean the difference between a successful trip or one that ends with a catastrophic injury.

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