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Biking Accidents: How to Prevent Them

Ruby writes from the Philippines. Aside from writing, she enjoys organic gardening and researching anything useful and helpful.

Bike accidents statistics

biking-accidents-how-to-prevent-them

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 41,000 bikers every year pass away while riding their bicycles to work, school, a mall, or their homes. This accounts for 3% of all traffic fatalities worldwide. Bicycles, unlike vehicles, are more prone to becoming imbalanced and offering little protection in the case of a collision, putting riders in close touch with the road and other drivers. Bicycle use also extremely seldom results in the death or injury of other road users, unlike the use of vehicles.

Lately, here in our school compound, two bicycle accidents occurred in just a matter of one week. This to me is quite alarming as this has never happened in previous years since I have stayed here for the past seven years.

Further, the most recent Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) report shows that 2,397 traffic collisions involving bicycles occurred in 2021. 726 of these collisions included sideswipes, while 348 involved rear-enders.

These accidents and statistics I just mentioned, prompted me to do a little research and write this article. Here are seven actions and tips you may do to ensure your safety while biking with others or alone.

biking-accidents-how-to-prevent-them

1. Put on a helmet.

Not all nations mandate helmet use for bikers. But according to studies, using a helmet can cut your chance of suffering a major accident by 70%. The most common reason for fatal bike accidents is head injuries. Sadly, 97 percent of victims are found without helmets. Many bike fatalities can be avoided by just wearing a helmet.

2. Get dressed with reflective apparels.

Lack of visibility is one of the main reasons for bike accidents. It increases the likelihood of an accident if a driver cannot see you. This is especially true when your routes are likely to overlap at crossings. Wearing bright and/or reflective gear is crucial in addition to having reflectors on your bike. The likelihood of a bike accident will decrease as your visibility increases.

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biking-accidents-how-to-prevent-them

3. Before you ride, inspect your equipment.

It's not always the case that a distracted driver or an unanticipated pothole causes a bike collision. Mistakes with bicycle equipment are a major cause of collisions. By inspecting your bike, helmet, and other equipment before you hit the road, you may lower the likelihood of an equipment-related accident.
Make sure your tires are filled appropriately. Verify the functionality of your reflectors and lights. Check your chains and gears for flaws, fractures, or other problems. These little procedures might shield you from a collision that can alter your life.

4. Reduce distractions.

In the Philippines, one of the main factors contributing to deadly vehicle accidents is distracted driving. Unsurprisingly, riding a bike while preoccupied can be just as risky. For example, texting or using one's phone while biking can be dangerous. Cycling while preoccupied might really be hazardous because you are already more likely to suffer a major accident or perhaps pass away.
Bike riding is a wonderful activity. Both exercise and fresh air are benefits. It's also a chance for you to unplug and take a vacation from the chaos of your regular life. Keep devices in your backpack or pocket to make the most of your bike trip. Choose a water bottle that is simple to use with one hand if you feel the urge to drink. You'll be more secure if you keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to your surroundings.

biking-accidents-how-to-prevent-them

5. Ride as though you are in a car.

If you behave as though you're driving a car, you might be able to lower the probability of an accident. Why? According to studies, drivers get used to the patterns and actions of other road users. Cars don't cross several lanes at once, dart in and out of traffic, or disregard traffic signs. These tasks are simpler to complete while you are riding a bike. When you do, though, you run the risk of surprising a driver or reducing your visibility. Ride predictably and, where needed, imitate the actions of larger vehicles to keep yourself safe.

6. Continue to hold on to the bike.

You could have excellent balance. You might be able to ride your bike as a result without holding on to the handlebars. Consider your options carefully before riding hands-free, especially while sharing the road with other vehicles. If your hands are off the bike, it will take you far longer to respond to unforeseen events, such a person crossing in front of you or road debris. As a result, you run a higher risk of falling off your bike or getting into an accident since you can't stop in time.

biking-accidents-how-to-prevent-them

7. Avoid biking on the sidewalks.

When you're riding next to bigger cars, sidewalks could appear like a safe alternative. However, there are a number of reasons why sidewalk biking might be quite risky. First of all, pedestrians own the sidewalks. When the sidewalks are busy, you run a higher risk of colliding with a pedestrian or losing control. Second, asphalt on the road is less likely to be uneven than sidewalk pavement. The walkway might have cracks or bumps that can send you flying. Last but not least, vehicles don't anticipate seeing a bike cross the road from a sidewalk. When you utilize the sidewalk, you run a higher risk of surprising a motorist and being struck. Drivers are used to other vehicles' conduct, keep in mind.

© 2022 Ruby Campos

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