There may be a chill in the air, but there is still plenty of time to ride your bike and enjoy the beauty of the fall leaves floating down from the trees above. Of course, this time of the year you need to pay particular attention to the road in front of you to avoid riding through piles of these leaves, especially wet ones, that could put you at risk of getting into a New Haven bicycle accident. Don’t let these leaves that are covering the ground deter you from enjoying a few more wonderful rides before the weather gets too cold.
By now, hopefully you know that the most important piece of equipment you can buy for your bike rides is a helmet. While a helmet is not required by law for adults in the state of Connecticut, it most certainly is a strong recommendation by all bicycle safety advocates who have weighed on the need for a bike helmet. If you’re concerned at all with safety while riding your bike it makes complete and total sense that wearing a helmet is the right thing to do to keep you free from serious injury. When you’re wearing a helmet, if you take a spill on your bike, your head will be protected from dangerous contact with the ground or other nearby objects and you may be less likely to experience any serious head trauma.
If you’re wearing a helmet while you ride your bike, congratulations, you have taken the first and most important step to keep yourself safe while you’re riding. Did you know that beyond a helmet there are other pieces of safety equipment that you should make sure you or your bike are outfitted with so you can remain safe when riding through the streets of the city? It’s true, helmets are vital, but these other pieces of equipment can go a long way in preventing accidents and helping you to avoid getting seriously injured while riding your bike.
1.) Lights. Many bike riders don’t think about lights because so few bikes are equipped with these handy safety features, but lights can be a necessity if you’re traveling at any time of day besides noon time when the sun is the brightest. Outfitting your bike with lights can be relatively easy to do by yourself and shouldn’t require that you take your bike into a shop to get them added. You should add a red light to the rear of the bike and a white light to the front.
2.) Wider tires. While you don’t need to outfit a road bike with mountain bike tires or anything like that, you should choose the widest tires for the type of bike that you have. Wider tires provide more tread which can in turn grip the road better and allow you to stay safe when riding your bike. A wider tire is also less susceptible to road imperfections and these are especially prevalent during the winter months as pot holes begin to appear.
3.) Upright handlebars. You may see road bikes outfitted with handlebars that require the rider to ride in an aerodynamic position. This is so the rider can achieve maximum speed, but in this case we’re going for maximum safety. Installing upright handlebars on your bike and using them can make you much safer as they improve visibility as you ride and also make it less likely that you will be tossed over your handlebars in the event that you get into an accident.
4.) Fenders. You might not think about fenders as a piece of safety equipment, but if you’re riding in the rain they can most definitely keep you safe. Here’s how. Fenders will guide the water from the rain away from you and so instead of the water being splashed up by the tires it is splashed back down to the road keeping you both free from getting rain water splashed in your face as well as keeping you dry. If you’re dry you will be a safer rider because you will be comfortable and comfortable riders are much more likely to be able to focus on the road ahead.
Riding your bike this time of year or any time of year can be fun and exhilarating, but it also presents risks that you should work to mitigate before you hop on for a ride. Taking some of the steps outlined above will go a long way in making it less likely that you will get involved in a New Haven bicycle accident. No amount of safety equipment or safe riding training will allow you to completely avoid getting into an accident, but the more steps you take, the safer you will stay as you ride your bike throughout the city and beyond.
If you do get into an accident and become injured you may need to speak with an attorney who has experience with this type of situation. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.