A significant percentage of South Carolinians reap the potential benefits of bike riding. Riding a bicycle is fun and a good form of exercise. It is a convenient form of transportation that does not harm the environment.
However, bicycling can also be dangerous, especially if you get into an accident with a car or truck. There is no metal vehicle surrounding you for protection from impact, nor is there usually any seatbelt to prevent you from flying over the handlebars. The comparative larger size and weight of a car or truck means that it can strike your body with great force.
Nevertheless, when you are on your bicycle, there are steps that you can take to avoid accidents or at least reduce your chance for serious injury if one occurs.
- Check your brakes
Being able to stop quickly could mean the difference between getting hit by a car and avoiding a collision. Therefore, you should check your brakes before every ride.
- Be aware of blind spots
All vehicles have blind spots, i.e., areas where their mirrors do not reflect and that drivers cannot see without moving their heads. You should be aware of vehicles’ blind spots and try to stay out of them. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reminds you that large trucks and buses have proportionately huge blind spots.
- Wear a helmet
A severe traumatic brain injury can result from a bike accident. A helmet can help to absorb the blow and decrease the risk of serious damage.
Above all, ride defensively. Do not assume that others see your hand signals, even when you are vigilant about using them. Be sure to stay aware of traffic around you and watch for brake lights and other signals from nearby vehicles.