If you are looking to buy a bicycle, one thing you should consider is safety. It is not something you will find mentioned in the bicycle manufacturer’s comparison charts, so here are some hints as to what takes.
A bike will be safer when it is:
- Fitted to the rider: Riding a bicycle that is too small is inefficient, uncomfortable and tiring. Riding one that is too large can be dangerous. You need to be able to put your feet down comfortably when you stop in traffic. Otherwise, you could topple over into the path of a car.
- Well-maintained: Despite the high-tech features on offer, the basic concept of a bicycle is simple. Pedal to go forward, squeeze the brakes to stop, turn the handlebars to steer. An old, well-maintained bike will be more efficient and safer than a new, poorly maintained one.
- Highly-visible: A 2012 study found there were two visual elements cyclists should concentrate on. Contrast and movement. You create contrast with fluorescent or brightly colored items in the day and reflective ones at night. You accentuate movement by using flashing lights on static parts of the bike. Or by putting static lights or reflective material on moving parts of the rider and bicycle, such as ankles and wheels.
- Ridden properly: This is the most significant factor of all. The rider is more important than the machine. Drivers often struggle to see cyclists. Staying within patterns of expected behavior increases the chance they can. If you appear from nowhere, hop off the curb into flowing traffic or blaze through a stop signal, do not be surprised if a driver fails to spot you.
The bicycle you ride and the way you ride it can never guarantee your safety. A moment of negligence by a motorist is all it takes to cause a bicycle accident. If you end up hurt, find out how an attorney can make sure that you’re fairly treated throughout the claims process.