Rinehardt Law Firm’s Top 10 List of Bicycle Safety Gear
Whether you choose to wear one or not, you probably know that a properly fitted helmet is by far the number one most important piece of safety equipment to protect yourself from injury when out for a bicycle ride. But what other safety gear is important and why? Rinehardt Law Firm compiled a top ten list of core biking gear.
#10: First Aid Kit
Even if you’re not going fast, if you fall off your bicycle, you are likely to sustain at least road rash or a gash. You will want to get even minor wounds cleaned and covered quickly. Carry a basic first aid kit on your bike including bandages, gauze, antibiotic ointment, burn gel, and butterfly closures.
#9 Go-Pro or Dash Cam
Bicyclists on the roadways are at risk of being hit by reckless, negligent, or distracted drivers. Bad driving can be deadly. On top of that, occasionally bicyclists must face intentional acts of aggression. A camera attached to your bike or helmet can provide invaluable video footage to document such events.
#8: Tire Pump, Patch Kit and Spare Tube
The most common problem cyclists face is a flat tire. If you are riding more than a few miles from home, you should always carry a spare tube for large punctures or blowouts. A patch kit can repair small punctures.
When the wind is in our face, we can forget that sun is still doing damage to our skin. Research shows that exposure to UV rays from the sun is responsible for up to 80% of visible aging signs and is the most serious threat for causing skin cancer. Apply high-SPF sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you ride, even when it’s not sunny.
Many accidents occur when a cyclist is hit from behind. A rearview mirror can help you see if a driver is paying attention or driving erratically behind you. Mirrors may be attached to your handlebars or helmet. There are even sunglasses available with a mirror on the inside.
#5: A Bell or Horn
If you can’t be seen, maybe you can be heard. When approaching pedestrians, runners, other cyclists, or even a car from the rear, sounding a bell can prevent collisions caused by unexpected motion coming into your riding path.
#4: Reflective Gear
Again, staying visible is the key to staying safe. Most accidents happen because a driver fails to see the cyclist. There is a plethora of reflective gear available to help you be seen including bright florescent colored jerseys or jackets, neon vests with reflectors, reflective stickers and bands, tires with reflective sidewalls, bright colored helmets, and reflective socks and even shoes!
#3: Cell Phone, Medical Information, and ID cards
No one expects to be in an accident, so it is best to be prepared. Always bring your cell phone so you can call for help. But cell phones can break or get lost and if you are unconscious, your phone will be locked. That’s why is it also important to carry emergency identification and medical information including allergies, medication and past medical history. It can save your life, but it can also help your ride partners help you if you are hurt and it provides peace of mind to your loved ones at home.
It may seem simple, but if you’re not properly hydrated before you ride and hydrating while on the road, you run the risk of dealing with serious side effects that could not just affect your performance, but your health. If you wait to drink until you’re thirsty, it’s already too late. If you’re dehydrated by even two percent of body weight, it will have a negative effect on your cognitive function. Always carry plenty of water when you ride and depending on how long you will be out there, consider adding an electrolyte infused drink mix to your water bottle.
#1: Headlight and Rear Reflector or Flashing Light
If drivers can’t see you, they might run into you. That’s why it is important to always ride with lights on, even during the day. Illumination for nighttime or low-light riding may seem obvious, but studies show that daytime lights can reduce bike accidents by 20%.