There are many bicyclists and pedestrians sharing the roads with cars in Maryland. While most people stay alert and as safe as possible, accidents can still happen. It’s important to know what precautions to take and how to avoid getting injured while sharing the road with cars.
Always check your bicycle and riding equipment
Thoroughly checking your bicycle before going out to ride is essential. Doing that every time you plan to ride your bike is a good first step in avoiding bicycle and pedestrian accidents. To perform a proper inspection, you should do the following:
- Make sure your bicycle seat is adjusted in the proper position and height and is locked.
- Check all parts of the bike to ensure that they’re in good working condition and secure.
- Check your tires to see whether they are properly inflated.
- Make sure your bike has all the proper safety reflectors in the front and back as well as on the pedals and spokes.
- If you don’t already have them, you should install a rear-view mirror, headlight, bell or horn on your bicycle.
Always make sure you’re visible
Riding your bicycle means that you are sharing the road with passenger cars and even larger vehicles. As a result, you will always want to make sure that all other drivers can clearly see you. Do the following to ensure that you’re seen:
- Wear bright-colored clothing such as neon or fluorescent.
- Ride during the daytime when it’s light outside if you can.
- Always wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights if you have to ride your bicycle after dark.
Wear safety gear
Bicycle and pedestrian accidents aren’t always predictable or avoidable. As a result, you will want to wear safety gear while riding your bike. Adults and children alike should wear knee pads, elbow pads and helmets. While the former two may be optional, they provide added cushioning. Helmets are an essential type of protective gear that is required by law.
Follow the road rules
Following the rules of the road can keep you safer while riding your bicycle. Learn the traffic laws and follow them, and always ride in the direction of traffic. Always be on the alert and look around you and check for hazards. You should also use hand signals when making turns and be careful at intersections.
Following all of these steps can keep you safer when you ride your bicycle. You may not be able to predict other drivers’ behavior, but you can do everything possible to protect your own safety.