While bicycles were once known as “child’s play,” adults started taking to the streets to drive leisurely or compete in races. Already popular, bike purchases skyrocketed during the COVID-19 lockdowns, reaching record numbers of 32 percent in 2016 and 2018.
The pandemic ending did not see an end to the popularity of bike riding. What started as an opportunity to travel roads with minimal motor vehicles has continued now that traffic levels have returned to normal.
The resumption of normalcy requires cyclists to exercise caution while traveling alongside much larger cars and trucks. With more two-wheel transports traveling, the increased risks of severe injuries and potential fatalities.
More motor vehicles mean more risks
As of February 2023, traffic volumes had increased by 18 billion vehicle miles, close to a four percent increase compared to the same time during the previous year when coronavirus-related restrictions were lifted.
Proactive steps combined with proper riding etiquette for bicyclists can mean the difference between an enjoyable bike ride and a tragic collision.
Just as you would check the gauges in your car, particularly for gas, before driving, ensuring that your bike is in proper condition for a long journey is essential if the bicycle has been stored for a significant amount of time.
The need for helmets cannot be understated. Most bicycle fatalities are the result of head injuries. Studies have revealed that the chance of head injuries drops by 50 percent. Also, ensure that the helmet adheres to Consumer Product Safety Commission standards with replacement every five years or following an accident.
Adding front and rear lights used at all hours of the day, not to mention brightly colored clothes, can help your visibility, a necessity when motorists are sharing the road.