15 Essential Bicycle Safety Tips - NYCM Insurance Blog

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May 17, 2019

15 Essential Bicycle Safety Tips

Riding a bike is not only a great form of exercise, but an all-around enjoyable way to spend time outside! Biking to work is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and if you have kids, a family bike ride can be a great way to spend time together and instill healthy habits. 

While riding a bicycle is a popular form of recreation, it’s important to remember that this hobby can quickly turn dangerous, resulting in injury. Keep these 15 safety tips in mind every time you hop on a bike:

  1. Always wear a helmet. You may think this isn’t the most stylish look, but wearing a helmet will protect your skull in case of accident. 
  2. Ride with traffic. Stay to the right side of the road to avoid accidents and the possibility of getting a ticket. 
  3. Ride single file. If you’re riding in a group, be sure to ride in a single file line, with space between each bike.
  4. Keep your headphones at home. Wearing headphones and listening to music while riding will make you less alert and more susceptible to accidents. 
  5. Let your friends know you’re unavailable. Just like when you’re driving a car, you should never text while riding a bicycle. Doing so is a hazard to yourself and those around you. 
  6. Leave the tricks for the professionals. If you’re comfortable on a bicycle, you may be tempted to ride with only one hand on the handle bars or no hands at all. Tempting as it may be, the best way to avoid accident and injury is by keeping both hands on the bike at all times. 
  7. Keep your head up! Avoid looking down at the ground. Instead, scan the area ahead of you to help you identify potential danger or obstacles. Identifying risks early will help you maneuver around them accordingly. 
  8. Wear bright clothing. This will make you more visible to drivers and pedestrians. 
  9. Ride during the daytime. If you have to ride at night, wear reflective clothing. 
  10.  Use hand signals when you’re turning. This is especially important at intersections. 
  11. Tuck and tie your shoe laces. This will help you keep your shoe laces from getting stuck in the bike chain. 
  12. Ride a bike that fits you! This one seems obvious but a bike that’s too big is more difficult to control. 
  13. Plan your route. This is especially important if you’re riding with a group. This will help everyone stay on the same page should you be separated from one another. If riding alone, let someone know your plan beforehand. 
  14. Shop for some accessories. The National Safety Council recommends putting a horn and rearview mirror on your bike for added safety. 
  15. Practice caution! Riding a bicycle should be enjoyable. Above all, practice caution, drive slow and always be aware of your surroundings. 

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or are just looking to spend more time outside this summer, using these tips will help keep you safe on your bicycling adventures!