In 2019, there was a 6% increase in bicycle accidents in the United States, over two-thirds of which involved collisions with motor vehicles. According to the National Safety Council, there are 80 million bicycles on the road, and both drivers and cyclists bear some responsibility for preventing accidents.
A bicyclist is at a disadvantage in a collision with a car or truck because of the motor vehicle’s significantly greater weight. Here are some tips to help cyclists avoid injuries from an accident.
1. Wear a helmet
Bicycle helmets do not prevent accidents, but they can protect against serious head injuries. To provide the most protection, helmets need to fit correctly with the buckle centered under the chin, the side straps adjusted to form a “V” shape under the ears and the helmet level on the head. A cyclist can make the helmet snug by adjusting the fit ring or adding or removing sizing pads.
2. Be visible
Being visible to passing cars helps a cyclist to decrease the risk of an accident. If it is not possible to ride during the day, a cyclist should have lights on his or her bicycle and wear reflective clothing. Even during daylight hours, wearing bright or fluorescent colors can help the drivers to see the cyclist more easily.
3. Check equipment
Before riding a cyclist should always inspect the bike’s tires, seat, reflectors and other parts to be sure all are intact and functional.
The city of Visalia takes an active role in encouraging more citizens to ride bicycles in place of driving.