Bicycles are surging in popularity around the nation. Riding a bike is a great way to get your heart pumping and allow your lungs to bask in that sweet, fresh air. Here in California, we have some of the most scenic cycling trails the world can offer, but unfortunately, we also have some of the highest bike accident rates in the country.
According to California Healthline, bicycle fatalities hit a 25-year high between 2016 and 2018; taking the lives of 455 cyclists. Your best bet in avoiding a crash is to stay alert and practice safe cycling, but you can increase your chances of being seen and staying safe while riding in California with these five essentials.
Prevent Bicycle Injuries with These Accessories
First things first, you’ll want to protect your most important asset – your brain. The last thing you want is a traumatic brain injury or TBI. That’s because if a traumatic brain injury doesn’t end your life, it could alter the way you live forever, and may lead to a myriad of issues from depression to seizures. The best way to protect yourself from a brain injury during your bike ride is to wear a helmet. All bike helmets should meet the same government and industry safety standards, so really any helmet should do. Just make sure you remember to wear it.
Headlights and Taillights
Visibility is super important when it comes to cycling. Drivers are rarely on the lookout for bicyclists, so it’s imperative that you make yourself as distinguishable as possible when you’re sharing the road. Headlights and taillights may be obvious when you’re riding at night or at dawn and dusk, but studies have shown that having lights affixed to your bike reduces the chance of a cycling accident in the daytime by 19%.
Water Bottle or Hydration Pack
Running out of water mid-ride isn’t just an inconvenience – it’s a real danger. Once dehydration sets in, you could experience:
- Muscle cramps
- Increased heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
When you’re out on a ride, whether it’s a short commute along city streets or on a twenty-mile mountain trail in the backwoods, you’ll need to hydrate. The amount of water you’ll need will vary depending on how strenuous your ride is, so make sure to bring a water bottle or hydration pack that’s sufficient for your needs.
Cyclists are pretty divided when it comes to their opinions on reflective clothing. Some believe that reflective clothing is unnecessary and tacky, and others think it’s only an essential if you’re cycling in a rural area. The reality is that when you wear reflective clothing, you substantially increase your chances of being seen by drivers. For extra safety, choose clothes in Visibility Yellow – the color most visible to the human eye. Wearing this shade will ensure that you stand out from your riding landscape.
First Aid Kit
In general, there are two types of bicyclists: those who have crashed, and those who will. No matter the severity of your injury, you’ll want to act fast to take care of it. By keeping a compact first aid kit that includes things like bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze, and ibuprofen, you can start dressing your wounds right away. Look for a compact or cycling-specific first aid kit so you don’t have to worry about carrying anything too bulky on your ride.
Hire an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney in Beverly Hills
Every time you climb aboard your bike, it’s vital to maintain your own personal safety. Unfortunately, even when you’ve done everything to keep yourself safe, bicycle accidents can still happen. If you or someone you love has been involved in a bicycling accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a legal claim for damages with Setareh Law.
At Setareh Law, we’ve been fighting personal injury cases for California residents like you for over 13 years. Our team is highly accomplished and committed to fighting for you. Call (310) 659-1826 or complete one of our online contact forms for a free case evaluation.