Cycling offers numerous benefits, ranging from improved cardiovascular health and muscle strength to reduced carbon emissions, making it a fantastic and Earth-friendly mode of transportation. However, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with cycling to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This infographic explores common cycling mistakes that can prove dangerous and provides valuable tips to minimize risks while reaping the many benefits of cycling.
Table of Contents
Not wearing a helmet
One of the most critical safety measures for cyclists is wearing a helmet. According to the Federal Highway Administration, 70 to 80% of all fatal bike wrecks involve head injuries. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85%, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Head injuries can have severe and long-lasting effects, including cognitive, emotional, and physical damage. To ensure maximum protection, always wear a snugly fitting helmet labeled as “U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Certified.” Replace your helmet if it sustains damage.
You may not like attention, but bicycling safety is too important to blend in. Bicyclists are less common and smaller than cars, therefore drivers don’t always notice them. This is one reason bicycles are 45 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the road than drivers.
Fluorescent hues convert UV rays into visible light, making them ideal for daytime cycling. You stand out from your surroundings so drivers notice you. Fluorescent clothing helps cars notice you from afar.
Not wearing reflective clothing at night
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Most bicycle fatalities occur between 6 and 9 pm. This number would improve if all bikers used lights.
Utah requires bike lights for rides over 30 minutes after sunset or before daybreak. A white headlight, red tail light, and side reflectors are included. All lights must be visible from 500 feet. This rule also applies to fog.
Ignoring the signs
As a cyclist, it’s crucial to obey traffic laws, just like any other vehicle on the road. Stop at stop signs, yield when necessary, and follow all road signs and signals. Ignoring traffic signs not only endangers you but may also compromise your legal protections in the event of an accident with another vehicle.
Failing to signal
Communication is essential for safety on the road. Since bicycles lack turn signals, use hand signals to indicate your intentions:
Left turn: extend your left arm horizontally
Right turn: extend your right arm horizontally (or extend your left arm upward)
Stop: extend your left arm downward
Wrong place, wrong direction
If there’s no designated bike lane, you’ll need to share the road with cars and trucks. In such cases, ensure you ride with the flow of traffic and not against it. Riding in the wrong direction or unexpectedly swerving can lead to dangerous situations and accidents. Always adhere to traffic flow to minimize risks.
LifeLaw Salt Lake City supports biking. Our Director of Claims, David Francis, shared the U.S. Cycling Team with Lance Armstrong, Jonathan Vaughters, and George Hincapie. We love biking, but we know the risks. Avoiding frequent bicycle mistakes won’t ensure your safety, but it can greatly reduce your accident risk.
If someone else caused a bicycle accident that wounded you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Call our Utah personal injury lawyers for details.
Download this infographic.