What’s road safety?
I spend 1.96 seconds to get the clear definitions from Wikipedia.
Road safety we usually say should be road traffic safety.
It refers to the methods and measures used to prevent road users from being killed or seriously injured.
Typical road users include pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, vehicle passengers, and passengers of on-road public transport mainly buses and trams.
As one of cyclist the number, people choosing to cycle for fun, fitness or to get to work. For most people, riding a bike is safe, with higher traffic on the road, riding a bike is not 100% safe.
Today, we’re going to learn 9 brilliant ways you have to know for safe biking on city streets. Let’s cycle the city easy, smart and safe.
1.Fully prepare before biking out
Every bike ride begins with putting on a helmet.
Get a comfortable bicycle helmet can help you prevent the serious bike injury. This effective way is the purpose of protecting your head if you will have an unexpected situation on the road.
Invented by two former Harvard students in 2013, “Lelmets” helmets have a central red brake light. The helmet comes with iOS app for both helmets and electronics.
Check your bike
What’s your story when you purchased your bike? What kind of elements to have purchased decision? Is it about Style, design, function, price or others?
I would like to bring up the size of the bike, that also important elements when you choice your idea bike.
Ride a bike that fits you, if it’s too big, it’s harder to control on the road.
Do you have the same experience when you were a kid, ride your mom or dad’s huge bike for riding practice or the children bike from brother or sitter’s still oversize. That’s for fun.
When we come back to ride the street, be sure you get right size bike. At the same time, check the gear or wheel regularly when you will available, if not possible check them every time, but at leave be sure that you have regular maintenance with your lovely bike.
Here is a pre-ride bicycle checklist for you:
In some countries, the law is required to have bike lighting. At night, your cycle must have white front and red rear lights lit.
A story from my Denmark friend, he was caught by traffic police and got DKK 500 fine ticket only because his bike light was broken, and forgot to get new bike light at 7 o’clock in the summer time.
Summer time in Denmark, the sky still as bright as the daytime.
But the law in Denmark required that cyclist has to use bike light, no matter what, my friend still need to pay for the bike light’s lesson from this bad experience.
If you would like to know more about what need to what need to prepare before biking out, here is my previous blog which you can take a reference partly. Click here to read: what need to prepare for bike road trip?
2.Use riding hand signal
Why do we need to learn to use riding hand signal?
In most cycling countries like Amsterdam, Denmark, France, Spain and Italy ect, most of the riders can use the hand signal well in their daily commute bike.
Moving in the traffic on road, learn to use riding hand signal is a great smart way to keep yourself safe. Use hand signal to some point, is offer clear signal for other people, and tell them what you need to do next.
Learn and master those hand signal will benefit for your lifetime as long as your bike out, like those from liv-cycling.
If you like to learn more, here is a PFD Hand Signals from NHTSA (U.S Department of Transportation), you can download for insightful learning.
If you’re a visual person, here is a video from League of American Bicyclists, you can see clear how to use hand signal on the road.
Or here is a safe bike video from Liv cycling too,click to watch.
3.Riding in the bicycle Land and stay focused on moving traffic
When you see a small bike printing on road, that’s bicycle Land which is separate from land for car or passenger’ land.
In early 2016, I used to have email communication with the head of the section from Denmark Ministry of Transport and Building Mette Langhoff.
In the letter, he said: In national level on the bicycle culture, Denmark is doing a lot to promote safety on the bike, this is done through improving and expanding the infrastructure as well as through legislation.
The most contribution is bicycle blue land as we see in the street and other bikes friendly facility as we can see everywhere in Copenhagen.
As the cyclist in the city, we should follow the rule of the road, and be riding in the bicycle lanes.
Meanwhile, stay focused on moving traffic. Many collisions occur when a cyclist is lost focused on move traffic like cars, motorcycle, runners or other people.
If we have good safety awareness and stay focused, you must easy to judge what the moving traffic do next.
Do not forget, be police on the road and let other people pass first.
4.Keep distance from the vehicle
Do you know what is the safe space between cyclist and vehicle? 1 Meter or 2 meters?
In early Feb 2017, GB : road safety news from Road Safe GB: UK police forces to adopt ‘Give Space, be Safe’ initiative .
The overtaking clearance should be 1.5 meters between car and cyclist, and at least 0.75 meters between cyclist and edges of bike land.
In an article published on 7 February, road.cc says the West Yorkshire and Devon & Cornwall forces will adapt the scheme for use in their areas, while police in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, who work together on roads policing, and Dorset Police are considering the initiative
Under Give Space, be Safe, police officers on bicycles pass on details of offending drivers to in-car colleagues who intercept at a designated holding point, where the driver is offered educational input on safe overtaking.
5.Avoid crashes & Avoid Get Hit By Cars
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), Bicyclist Accident occurred most often between 6 p.m and 9 p.m( 20%) and in urban areas( 71%) .
If your working hours are flexible, try to avoid the peak traffic time on the road. Try to avoid the quick stop in the busy traffic.
Here are 10 ways to not get hit from bicyclesafe.com, you can learn hot to avoid those.
Collision type #1 The right Cross
Collision type # 2 The Door Prize
Collision type #3 The crosswalk slam
Collision type #4 The wrong-way wreck
Collision type #5 The red light of death
Collision type #6 The right hook 1
Collision type #7 The right hook 2
Collision type #8 The left cross
Collision type #9 The Rear end
Collision type #10.The rear end 2
6.Riding with your Kids
For every parent, it’s a wonderful feeling that sees your little cute kid growing up little by little with the same experience. Biking along with your kids would be one of those great experiences together.
However, like things have two coins, every year, about 300K kids were sent to the emergency department, because of bike injuries on the road.
In order to prevent bad things happen, we can apply those tips for our real time situations when riding with your kids.
When your child is ready to give it a whirl, it helps to take a step-by-step approach to teaching this life skill. Start from something easy to encourage them to keep balance on the bike.
As a beginning, it’s better to ride the bike in the large space rather than on road. Such as large park, playground or well-trimmed field.
As soon as they can bike solo, the first trail to the bike land, and bike in front of you, just be sure he or she feel security. Before riding, be sure child’s bike helmet should fit and comfortable.
From Today’s Parents, knee and elbow pads are also great accessories for a beginner.
One of the popular and safe ways to ride in the street, a cargo bike is a good solution. It can use as family bikes, carry stuff and carry kids along with.
2 wheels or 3 wheels cargo bike also have a different style, like full-size cargo bike, compact cargo bike, trailer bike, front-loader and so on.
You can bring you kid in the same bike instead of solo riding. Again, make sure your kid is wearing a helmet still as safe purpose.
8.Prepare for unexpected—Bicycle first aid kit
Still need to mention that 1.25 million people die each year according to WHO, nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are “vulnerable road users”: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
Most of the road user can be saved or get the right first aid treatment at the right time if possible can get access the first aid kit.
We look into ourselves, how many of you have a bicycle first aid kit, and use it in your daily bike crash situation.
We cannot prevent bad thing happen but can prepare for unexpected. At least can do something in that situation rather than feeling helpless with nothing can reach out for scratch or bleeding.
Before ambulance will arrival we can deal with open wounds by ourselves or help other bikers.
Let us think in this way if something bad happens to you if a follower biker can help you through bicycle first aid kit they have.
Or if you have a bicycle first aid kit, it’s same that can help others and add our value to their life. That would be amazing indeed that not get bike crash situation worse.
Top some point, save your time, money and stress once it happens.
So much so, get your first bicycle first aid kit online, DIY yours or check out SJ WORKS Bicycle first aid kit which designer for outdoor cycling first aid, to get the emergency care close on hand.
Before going out, get your lovely helmet and bicycle first aid kit easy hang on the bike, safe on the road with your kids, friends, or yourself.
9.Improve your riding skill
Do more practice, keep learning and improve your riding skill. In the riding, when you feel that it’s about out of control, you still have plan B to make have less injury.
Like, locking the arm is the chief cause of those collarbone, wrist and shoulder breaks road cyclists are prone to. With a little ‘give’ in your arm, you may be able to break the fall without breaking any bones. Keep your body weight in balance if you can.
It will help you develop skills and increase your confidence to tackle busier routes.
If you had bike fall experience, check it out my previous blog to prevent the same situation in the future. Click to read more: How to get out of helpless after having bike crash
9 brilliant ways you have to know for safe biking on city streets
- Fully prepare before biking out(Helmet, bike checking, bike light)
- Use riding hand signal
- Riding in the bicycle Land and stay focused on moving traffic
- Keep distance from the vehicle.
- Avoid crashes & avoid Get Hit By Cars
- Bike along with your Kid
- Cargo bike.
- Prepare for unexpected—Get yourself a Bicycle first aid kit
- Improve your riding skill
Question: What’re your best brilliant ways for safe biking on city streets? Write down your comment below, love to hear from you.