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8 Bike Riding Safety Essentials and Tips to Avoid Accidents

8 Bike Riding Safety Essentials and Tips to Avoid Accidents

Bike riding in California is a great alternative to driving a vehicle and a wonderful way to take in the beautiful scenery and streets. However, bike riding, like any other form of transportation, comes with its risks. Bikes, unlike other forms of transportation such as cars or buses, don’t offer a barrier of protection between the person and the transportation vehicle. Bike accidents can cause serious injuries, which is why it is so important to have the right safety gear and know the right safety maneuvers while riding a bike on the road. Below, our expert team of bicycle accident injury attorneys from West Coast Trial Lawyers break down the different bike riding safety essentials and tips that can help bicyclists while out on the road. 

8 Bike Riding Safety Essentials

While out on the road, you should have the right gear to protect you in the case of an accident. These are the bike riding safety essentials all bicyclists should own and use while riding their bike: 

  1. A fitted helmet is the first and foremost essential gear all bike riders should own. Although in the state of California, bike riders over the age of 18 are not required by law to wear a helmet while riding, it is highly recommended that all riders do so. Wearing a helmet while riding a bike can protect riders from life changing and possibly fatal head injuries and/or traumatic brain injuries. 
  2. Reflective tape is important and can be applied to the bike, bike gear, and clothing that a rider might be wearing. It is especially important for bike riders to place reflective rape on materials that are facing all four directions to make themselves more visible from all directions of traffic. Reflective tape is especially beneficial for nighttime riders who may be less visible to cars. 
  3. Bright Clothing is important for bike riders to wear as it offers better visibility to riders, both during the day and at night. During the day, bright colors could also help riders deflect the sun and heat. During the night, bright colors pop in the dark. Wearing black or dark blues is not recommended for bike riders because during the day these colors can retain more heat for riders and at night have them lose visibility against the darkness. 
  4. A water bottle holder is important in order to have water at hand to stay hydrated and it also important to have a hands free from carrying items such as water bottles to have a better grip on the handle bars. It is better to have a designated water bottle holder attached to the bike or on your body rather than holding a water bottle in your hands.
  5. Having a front white headlight and red back headlight is important as it mimics the lights of a car, offering visibility of a bicyclist to a car ahead of them and a car behind them. These reflector lights become more pertinent and visible at night, when other vehicles also have their lights on. They can help prevent bike riders from being hit from behind by a vehicle. 
  6. Shatter-resistant protective eye-wear is important to have as well, as they can protect the eyes from dirt and debris on the road. It is imperative that the eyewear be shatter-resistant because in the case of a crash, if the glasses were to shatter, permanent damage to the eyes could be done. During the day, it is recommended to use shatter resistant protective eye-wear that also protect from the sun. This can help bike riders see better and ride more comfortably. 
  7. Added mirrors installed on handlebars are wonderful additions that can help bike riders see traffic coming behind them on both sides, just like in a car. This helps them stay vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. 
  8. Installing a bell or horn is important because it can help bike riders communicate with others on the road and let them know their presence. It is also recommended that bike riders also verbalize their presence as well.

Other Safety Tips 

While having all of the abovementioned safety gear is a great way to protect and prevent people from getting hurt in bike accidents, there are some actions that bike riders can also take to prevent accidents as well. 

  • Check your bike before you ride. Make sure that your bike has no issues before taking it out on the road. This includes checking tires, chains, handlebars, seats, mirrors, etc. Having a bike malfunction while riding can cause a bicyclist to lose control and can cause an accident.
  • Ride in designated areas only (not the sidewalk). While there are different rules in different cities throughout California regarding where bicyclists can ride, generally speaking bicyclists should ride in the bike lane or on the road with vehicles, not on the sidewalk which is intended for pedestrians.  It is also important to always ride with the flow of traffic and never against it - doing so can result in a head-on collision. 
  • Use hand signals. Hand signals are important because bikes do not have the blinking light signals that other motor vehicles have. Hand signals can indicate when a person is coming to a stop, left turn, or right turn. The hand signal for coming to a stop is the left hand extended and bent downward at the elbow with the palm facing the way of traffic. The hand signal for making a left turn is the left arm extended outright. The hand signal for making a right turn is the left arm extended and bent upward at the elbow.

Need a Bike Accident Injury Attorney? West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help

If you have sustained injuries in the as a result of a bike accident, our experienced team of bicycle accident injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate expert personal injury legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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