We have been posting recently on the things that bicycle riders need to consider when buying a new cycle or getting out to ride in this great summer weather. We want to focus in this post on the things that cyclists should bring along to make sure they ride safe and sound.
Representing cyclists as a Gwinnett County bicycle crash lawyer, I know how important these safety precautions are for riders to be safer on Georgia’s roads. We can never be too prepared or too obvious as riders, especially when we are sharing the road with other vehicles.
It is important to have all the items necessary to fix a tire such as a frame pump, a spare tire tube, tire levers to remove tire from rim and a patch kit. A multi-tool which you can pick up at your local bike shop, is also an important piece of equipment to have with you. It is also important to ensure that your bike has proper lights and reflectors, including a white headlight visible from at least 300 feet for riding in low- visibility conditions such as fog or at dusk.
Riders also need to remember both during the hot days of summer and in general to stay well-hydrated by carrying water. Carrying a water bottle on your bike frame is a great way to keep hydration close by.
When riding at night, Georgia law requires several safety precautions including rear reflectors. There are several types of tail lights that will show either flashing or solid red. Some of these are detachable so that you can remove them from your bike when you aren’t riding at night. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-296 (a) requires that: “Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a light on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety which shall be visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlights on a motor vehicle. A light emitting a red light visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.”
One of the most important pieces of safety equipment is a rear-view mirror. This is as important as your helmet in terms of keeping you safe on the road. The rear-view mirror helps to ensure safe turns, but does not replace the need for looking over your shoulder to make sure there are no vehicles approaching before a turn.
Other important items that you should carry with you in case of emergency include your personal identification, emergency contact information and your cell phone. It is also helpful to put a few dollars in your pocket in case you need hydration or need to make a phone call and don’t have your phone with you. Bring some energy bars in case you need some nourishment on the road.