Washington Cycling Safety Tips

Cycling Safety Tips

While cycling is a terrific form of exercise and fun, and an efficient way to get around, just like everything else, it comes with some level of risk. That risk can be mitigated by taking some simple precautions. We’ve assembled some basic safety essentials to make your ride a safe one.

  • Stay Visible – Cyclists are already small on the road compared to normal vehicle traffic. It is essential that you wear bright colors for daytime riding and reflective materials when riding at night. For your bicycle, have reflectors on the front and back of the bicycle and have a white headlight plus a red tail light when riding around sunrise, sunset, or at night. Regardless of the time of day, be sure to have side reflectors on both wheels of your bicycle.

  • Follow Traffic Laws – While many accidents involving cyclists and larger vehicles are the fault of the drivers of the larger vehicles, there are situations that could have been avoided had the cyclist been obeying the traffic laws. Listed below are some major ones to follow:
    • Travel on the road in the same direction as traffic.
    • Keep out of drivers’ blind spots.
    • When available use marked bike lanes.
    • Stop at red lights and stop signs, just like you would in a car.
    • Use appropriate hand signals.

  • Ride Prepared – Take some essentials with you before you hit the road.
    • Spare tube, patch kit, and a small bicycle frame pump – These will be invaluable if you catch a flat.
    • Multipurpose tool – Multipurpose tools can come in handy on the road, any tool that includes pliers, a wrench, and a screwdriver. They also sell bike specific multipurpose tools that will give you more specialized equipment.
    • Water- As simple as it sounds, it’s just as easy to forget it. Be sure to bring enough water to keep you hydrated.
    • Valid ID – In case of an accident it is essential to have a valid ID on you.
    • Cell Phone – Even the most experienced cyclists could get lost, or end up stranded due to an accident or a severe bicycle break down. Bring a phone and make sure its battery is charged before you hit the road.