You love cycling, because it’s great exercise and gives you time away from all the digital devices used today. You want to experience nature and even cycle to your favorite coffee shops or downtown areas without incident. Sadly, safety isn’t always a priority for other drivers, so there is the potential for serious injuries.
As a cyclist in Montana, there are some things you can do to protect yourself on the roads. Here are five tips to keep you safe anywhere.
1. Wear bright colors
To start with, you need to wear bright colors no matter where you go. Bright colors stand out at every time of day, helping others beware and avoid you.
2. Don’t forget your helmet
If you are hit, you won’t want to land without a helmet. Helmets may not protect all of your body, but they can prevent severe trauma to your neck, face, skull and brain.
3. Use lights
Another good way to make yourself stand out is to use a light or multiple lights on your bike, especially if you’ll be riding during dawn or dusk. It makes you stand out more, so others don’t accidentally get to close or clip you.
4. Don’t be scared to make sounds
If you see a driver who doesn’t look like they’re paying attention, you want to give others notice that you’re in the area or make yourself more obvious in general, so use a horn. Bike horns are an excellent way to protect yourself with sound in the same way as other vehicles.
5. Choose the best routes
Finally, choose the best routes to get to your destination safely. Try routes with bike lanes first. If there aren’t any, try to take residential roads or areas with less traffic, so you have a lower chance of getting hit.
The reality of riding a bike alongside other vehicles is that everyone is distracted and doesn’t expect a biker to be nearby. Cyclists have to be extra cautious, because drivers may not be looking for them. Since they’re exposed in every way, even a low-speed crash could lead to serious injuries.
If you are hit when you’re riding, make sure you get medical help right away. Exchange information with the driver if you can, and be certain that the police are there to investigate. You’ll want to file a claim as soon as possible after the collision, so that you can get the compensation you deserve.