Tips for Better Bicycle Safety

Austin is a very bicycle-friendly community, with plenty of commuters using the bike option to get to work on the weekdays, and riding enthusiasts sharing the Town Lake trail space with runners on the weekends.

As bike-friendly as Austin is, however, there are plenty of cars and pedestrians that share the roadways as well, and without following certain bicycle guidelines and safety tips below, you may find yourself in a troubling situation.

1. Wear a helmet- While you may think that nothing could happen during a simple joy ride around the lake, one inadvertent hit of a bump could send you flying, and cause serious brain injury. Statistics show helmets provide a 63 to 88 percent reduction in the risk of head and severe brain injury for all ages of bicyclists. Make sure the helmet fits on top of your head, and isn’t tilted back. In addition, do not ride with headphones–you want to be able to hear traffic.

2. Follow the rules of traffic, even if other motorists are not- You are sharing the roads with cars, pedestrians, buses, scooters, and other forms of transportation, all of which are obeying (or not obeying) the same rules of traffic you are. Use hand signals when making turns or changing lanes to warn traffic around you (left turn- extend your left arm out, right turn- extend your left arm up with elbow bent, to stop- extend your left arm down). Do not pass on the right, and make eye contact with drivers as you scan the road.

3. Dress appropriately and maintain your bicycle- If the weatherman says it’s going to be cold, dress with layers. If you are riding at night, wear bright colors and attach lights to your bike so other motorists can see where you are. Regular maintenance for your bike is important as well, so check tire pressure and brakes regularly.

Following these safety tips will by no means guarantee absolute safety on the road, but they are good guidelines to abide by. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident contact the Austin bike accident lawyers at McMinn Law Firm today.