The streets have no mercy for anyone. Whether a person is in a car, bus, train, or just walking by himself, once leaves himself defenseless, the possibility of getting injured, or worse killed, in a traffic accident increases. That is why safety precautions like the simple wearing of a seatbelt when in a vehicle or crossing the street in the proper area are gravely important.
Unfortunately, it's not the same case for bicycle users. The vehicle is not equipped with safety systems unlike an ordinary car. The next best thing that a cyclist can use to protect himself is his helmet, though it may not be such a big help in extremely deadly cases. Wearing thicker clothes that cover the body entirely may also help, but not every cyclist has the resources or time to even consider doing such.
Of course, a biker can also rely on his skills and his awareness of the dangerous environment he is cycling on. A basic knowledge bikers should remember is to never assume that it's safe outside. Danger is lurking in every corner and may catch up to anyone at anytime. Aside from that, here are some skills that will come in handy when driving on dangerous road conditions.
- Look at where you're going. It doesn't mean that you have to focus just on where you are heading at. Maximize your vision by checking everything in sight, like the road you are about to take or the vehicle behind.
- Scan the road surface for any irregularities. Ride around iron drain grating, manhole covers, or other obstacles if possible. If not, "think light" by holding on tight and staying loose with your body. This can absorb the impact of the obstacle and allow you to react to the irregularities.
- Rain, snow, and greasy pollution residue result to a slippery road and may cause loss of traction. Avoid riding very quickly as it will make slowing down and stopping more difficult. When turning, keep the bicycle as vertical as possible. Do it carefully to avoid "washing out."
- Speaking of slowing down, if possible, keep your fingers on the brake levers. Slowing down and stopping in a quicker way may help avoid those near-death accidents.
- When riding at night, make sure your bike is equipped with both headlight and taillight so that other vehicles can spot you easily.
For cyclists who encountered such accidents, hiring experts in bicycle accidents may be a logical step to take, especially to those who believe that the other party is responsible for what happened.