Go for it, but know how to prevent a serious bicycle crash. Read our seven-point safety checklist before you hop on your bike.
- Protect your head. Wear a helmet. Helmets are very effective in preventing traumatic brain injury, the primary cause of death and disability in bicycle accidents.
- Check all the bicycle parts for proper functioning. Look at the brake pads and replace them if necessary. Check if the brake cables are worn out, damaged, or loose. Check the tires, replace or inflate them if required.
- Follow the rules of the road. Obey the traffic codes and signal your intentions clearly. Attach a rear-view mirror to your helmet if you have trouble looking back. Yield to pedestrians and vehicles as a car would do. Control your speed.
- Be predictable. Drive safely. Ride on the right side of the road and avoid swerving between lanes. Walk alongside your bicycle with pedestrians to cross large roadways or to change direction.
- Be visible. Assume that you are much less visible than trucks, vans, cars, or even motorcycles. Wear neon and fluorescent colors. Install reflectors on the front and back of your bicycle and use bright or flashing LED lights at dusk.
- Be aware of special risks. If you approach a parked car with the driver behind the wheel, beware of the door opening right in front of you. Vehicles might turn right and cut your path at an intersection. If you slam on your brakes, you are likely to be rear-ended, because no motor vehicle stops as fast as you can.
- Final safety tips: Always look over your shoulder before changing lanes or turning left. Use a bell, horn or your voice to alert pedestrians and other bicyclists. Take extra care to focus on the road pavement and watch for potholes, rail tracks, drainage grates, debris, wet leaves, water or ice.
Enjoy your ride.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in North and Central Florida, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.