Austin, Texas is one of the biggest bicycle supporting cities in the nation. You can find cyclists all over the roads of Austin, especially during the warmer months. Bicycle commuting in Austin has increased over the decades, with more people choosing to avoid the hassle of bumper-to-bumper traffic and riding to work and school on their bikes.
There are a number of benefits when commuting by bike. A few of these benefits include:
- You leave virtually no carbon footprint
- You get exercise
- Bicycles increase mobility for those who have arthritis of stiff joints
- Most energy efficient form of transportation
- Save money by biking (i.e. not having to pay for gas)
- Cycling will improve your productivity at work
- Easier time finding parking
- Cycling is low-impact on the joints and rest of the body
If you decide to commute daily on a bike, there are things you should consider that will help make your commute as efficient as possible. Here are a few helpful commuting tips:
1. Bicycle Size. Make sure your bicycle is the right size for you and that your seat is properly adjusted prior to your commute. You should consider mountain or hybrid bikes, the tires are wider and are better for commuting in traffic.
2. Bicycle Helmet. Head injuries can cause serious injury and account for 75 percent of bicyclist deaths. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by up to 85 percent. Most states require that you wear a helmet when riding a bike.
3. Bicycle Rack. A rack on the back of your bike is essential if you plan on commuting to work. You’re going to need somewhere to put your briefcase or books.
4. Carry Necessary Tools. Always carry a tool kit incase you have to make roadside repairs. The longer your commute is, the more important it is to carry tools with you.
5. Check the Weather. Make sure you avoid commuting on your bike in severe weather. This makes cycling and seeing the road ahead of you much more difficult.
6. Bike Lights. Bike lights and reflectors are a must, especially if you ride your bike at night. Not only are they beneficial to your safety but other drivers can see you and drive cautiously around you.
Along with preparing for your commute before hitting the road, there are a number of safety tips to be aware of while you’re on the road, sharing it with other drivers. In most states, bicycles are legally considered vehicles, and must obey the rules of the road.
Here are some safety tips when sharing the road with others:
- Obey traffic signs and signals. Bicycles are expected to follow the same traffic laws a regular motor vehicles.
- Don’t ride against traffic.
- Don’t pass on the right. Motorists usually don’t look for a bike passing on their left, always pass on the right.
- Use hand signals. Hand signals alert motorists of what you intend to do. Signaling is the law and is the courteous thing to do.
- Look out for road hazards. Watch out for loose gravel, potholes, ice, dirt, and other debris.
Should a driver neglect to obey the rules of the road, serious injury can be the result for any bicyclist. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another driver, contact The Law Offices of WT Johnson today. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.