May is National Bike Month and here at Ralph Thayer Automotive in Livonia, we encourage you to head out and enjoy the warm weather. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month was created in 1956 to spread the joys and benefits of bicycling. Bike riding helps you keep fit, is fun, saves money in gas, can get you places faster, makes it easier to park and offers a great way to see the world in a way you wouldn’t otherwise.
Before heading out for a spin, consider the following bike safety tips.
Wearing a helmet is your first line of defense against brain injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in 2012, bike-related crashes injured 532,000 people and killed 900. Because brain damage can be permanent, it’s important to wear a helmet that has the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Snell Memorial Foundation seal of approval. Also see that the helmet fits snugly, is stable and covers your forehead.
Always remain watchful. Keep your head up and look around as you go so that you can react quickly if a dangerous situation arises. Avoid wearing headphones and listening to music, as this could prevent you from hearing a car horn that could prevent an accident.
Know your bike route and have a plan of action if you are riding with other bikers as to what to do if you get separated. If you’re riding into unfamiliar territory, check the route out prior and find out about any local laws or special rules. Avoid biking on roads at peak traffic times.
Like your auto, your first step to a safe ride is maintaining your bicycle. Check that your tires are properly inflated before heading out and maintain clean, lubricated chains. Also periodically inspect the brake pads.
Be a responsible rider. Always ride on the right side of the road. If you ride against traffic, you may get in an accident and can even be ticketed. Use hand signals to alert other riders, drivers and pedestrians to your next move, and avoid riding on the sidewalk. Doing so is illegal in many areas and can cause dangerous situations, including your potentially hitting pedestrians or cars pulling out of driveways.
At Ralph Thayer Automotive, we wish you an enjoyable National Bike Month in Livonia.