This guest post is from Jenifer Alice, who loves travelling on her Suzuki motorcycle and pedalling around on her BMX, but she is always acutely aware of the risks he faces while on the roads. As a result, she spends a lot of time blogging about motor vehicle accidents and cycle accident claims. She also likes listening to heavy metal and looking cool in fluorescent high-visibility clothes.
It’s only natural to want to go on bike rides and get out in the open air over the summer months, with long days, plentiful wildlife and quiet streets making it seem like a great idea.
While cycling is a fantastic way to exercise and stay healthy, you should be aware of the danger of road accidents. Cyclists are the second most at-risk road user, after motorcyclists, and cycle accidents can be very serious. While you can make a road accident claim for your injuries and recover your expenses if the accident was someone else’s fault, the trauma and pain of a collision can be very severe and long-lasting, and emotional or psychological damage is not unusual.
So how can you avoid having to claim cycling accident compensation?
Wear all the right safety equipment
For everyday cycling, you need a bike helmet to protect you from head injuries, high-visibility clothing, even in the summer, cycling gloves to protect your hands and improve your grip, and appropriate shoes, such as trainers. You can also invest in a pair of specialist cycling shoes for additional protection and grip.
Invest in some breathable cycling clothing for the summer months and you will be protected on your bike for years. Ensure you’re comfortable and that you’re not too warm – exhaustion or distraction can also lead to personal injuries.
Don’t wear headphones when you’re on a bike. You want to stay as alert as possible, staying completely aware of what is going on you. Headphones are a factor in an increasing number of cycle accident compensation claims.
Prepare your bike
It might have been many months since you last rode your bike – perhaps it’s been sitting in the garden shed over winter, exposed to cold, moisture and rust. Check that everything is in perfect working order before you hit the road – a slight mechanical problem could lead to a catastrophic road accident.
Look at the wheels and ensure they spin in a straight line and are not broken. Check the brakes work properly and hit the wheels squarely. Inflate your tires properly. If you are uncertain about whether or not your bike is safe to use, take it to a bike shop to have it looked over. Whatever the cost of repairing your bike, it’s worth it if it means you avoid serious personal injuries.
Young cyclists should be especially careful
Cycling accident compensation claims data and road accident statistics indicate that cyclists under the age of 17 are seen in roughly one-quarter of serious bike accidents, with the highest number of accidents occurring in the warmer months between June and October. Parents don’t want to be dealing with personal injury claims involving their own children, so ensure they understand how to ride a bike safely and the rules of the road, and invest in appropriate cycling equipment for them. Ensure they are visible – cyclists wearing dark clothing can become almost invisible in the wrong conditions.