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Biking safely: Avoiding bike crashes in the summer

The summer is a fantastic time of year to get out of the house and ride your bike. It's good exercise, and it's easy to do. All you need to do is grab a helmet, hop on your bike and ride.

The trouble with biking is that there is a risk of getting into a bike accident, particularly if you live in a busy city area. Drivers may not be familiar with seeing cyclists on or near the roads, which could mean that they don't watch out for you and end up causing a crash.

What can you do to stay safer when you ride your bike?

The first thing to do is to make yourself as visible as possible. That means wearing bright, reflective clothing and using reflectors and lights on your bike. If you ride at night, during sunrise or at dusk, using a headlamp or headlights will help you stand out more. Some cyclists use flashing lights in red and white to make them more obvious.

Another thing you can do is ride with traffic but in a bike lane. There are many city routes with bike lanes, which are safer for riders. You'll go the same direction as traffic but have a specific area set aside with space for you. Map out your trip before you leave, so you know where to find the safest biking routes.

Another thing to consider is riding with a horn or other loud item that you can use to make yourself heard. Bicycles are notorious for making little to no sound, so drivers may not always be aware of them. If you carry a horn, it helps you make yourself heard if you believe a driver doesn't see you.

Finally, consider taking a biking course before you head out on the roads this year. A good biking education course teaches you ways to travel more safely. For example, the course may teach you how to signal on your bike, where the safest routes in your area are, or how to travel safely at dawn or dusk. You may find good advice on the best bicycle helmet to wear when you're on the streets, and you'll also get advice on appropriate cycling gear that helps you stand out.

Whenever you choose to ride, it's in your best interests to do everything possible to follow the laws and make yourself obvious to drivers. That way, you can help prevent accidents.

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The Law Office of Nick Stein

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New Albany, IN 47150

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