Bike commuting can save money, fight pollution and help you stay in shape. But cyclists can face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than those commuting to work by car. “We need to ensure that bicyclists and motorists can share roads safely,” said Chris Mullen, Director – Technology Research at State Farm. “Unfortunately, bicyclists are vulnerable and much more susceptible to serious injury or death when on the roads with vehicles. That’s why it is so critical that we examine the factors surrounding these crashes and leverage a variety of proven tools to improve bicyclist safety nationwide."
Give a Good Once-over
Before you set off, make sure the brakes and gears work properly and that the tires are inflated.
Know the Rules of the Road
Your bike is considered a vehicle, so laws that apply to motorists also apply to you. If you're biking on the road, you should:
- Obey all traffic lights, road markings and stop signs.
- Ride with traffic, and use the right lane or bike lane.
- Use hand signals to indicate turns and lane changes.
Bring the Right Gear
You'll want a few essential safety items and equipment to take care of minor maintenance issues.
A properly fitted helmet is a must-have. Helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury or other head trauma if you're involved in a crash. But remember: Helmets are designed to withstand only one crash. Replace yours after any crash, and never wear a helmet with cracks, missing pieces or other damage.
You may also need:
- Front and back lights (Headlights are mandatory at night.)
- Reflectors tightly secured to your bike
- Bright-colored or reflective fitted clothing (Loose clothing can get caught easily.)
- Replacement tube
- Air pump
- Patch kit for tire repair
- Tire lever
- Multi-tool with wrenches, screwdrivers, and a chain tool
- U-lock or heavy chain lock
If you're involved in a crash with an automobile, contact the police right away. Get a full crash report, seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries, and take photos of any damage to your bicycle or other property for insurance purposes. And when you're ready to file a claim, download the State Farm® mobile app for a quick, simple process.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.