The climate of Florida practically begs people to dust off their bikes and head out for a ride. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a Siren call since our state has been ranked as one of the worst places to ride a bike in terms of safety.
In fact, in 2015, Florida was – again – named the number one most deadly state in the country to ride a bike. Because of this, it is important to know the gear you can use to decrease your chances of injury or getting into an accident in the first place. Some of these things will probably be obvious, but others you may not think about before going for a ride. Now, hopefully, you will.
9 Things That Can Make Your Safer While Riding Your Bike
Helmet. You already know this, right? There’s no reason to tell you. Well, we’re going to say it anyway because wearing a helmet is often the difference between life and death when cycling accidents occur. Forget about the legality of wearing a bike helmet – do it because you care about your life and your family.
Sunglasses. They don’t call Florida the Sunshine State for nothing. Unfortunately, when you’re traveling outside, that means glare. Get hit with the glare of the sun while riding and you can easily end up in an accident. A good pair of sunglasses can prevent this from happening.
Bike bell. Unlike cars, bikes are relatively silent on the road. That means you have to make your own noise to let people know you’re there, especially if you’re going to pass them from behind. Sure, you could simply yell out to them, but often people take a bit more kindly to the friendly tinkle of a bike bell.
Turn signal gloves. Yes, that’s right. You can now buy gloves that will augment your hand turn signals with automobile-style blinking lights and arrows. There won’t be any question about which way you’re going.
Lights. Bicycles are not only quiet; in comparison to cars and other larger vehicles, they’re practically invisible. One way to increase visibility? Invest in bike lights. This is absolutely necessary if you’re going to be biking in the dark, but bike lights are still valuable in the daytime. They can make people sit up and take notice.
Bright, tight attire. No, you don’t have to wear the skin-tight cycling attire you see professionals use. However, it is important that you never get onto a bike wearing anything so loose that it could hang down and become entangled.
Why bright clothes? Simple: the same reason you want lights – because people will be more likely to see you. A reflective vest or tape can do wonders.
Reflectors, flags, and so on. Reflectors and flags are two more ways to help others see you – particularly drivers. Reflectors at the front and back of your bike will cause the light from headlights to bounce off, alerting drivers to your presence.
Flags can be mounted several feet above your bike to make it easier for those in high vehicles – trucks, vans, SUVs – to notice you.
Cell mount. No, you’re not supposed to use your phone while driving. However, if you are going to use it – say, for GPS –a cellphone mount is essential to keep your hands free and your eyes on the road as much as possible.
Road ID bracelet. The goal is to avoid accidents and injuries altogether, but unfortunately that isn’t always possible. If you do get into a bad crash, a road ID bracelet is a surefire way to ensure the people taking care of you have your personal info – including blood type, allergies, and other important medical information.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1998. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.