Bicycle Safety Equipment
Beyond the safety equipment you can add to your person like a helmet and bright clothing, adding just a few safety accessories to your bike can lower the risk of a serious accident.
What to Wear When Riding Your Bike
As important as it is to be aware of the road and what is on it, it is equally important to dress properly – for the safety of yourself and others.
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe while riding a bike. In some states, you are required by law to wear a helmet when riding your bike. The NHTSA found that wearing a helmet reduced the chance of serious head injuries from bike riding by 60%. It’s important that your helmet fits snugly and does not have any visible cracks.
Wear Bright Colors
The brighter your clothing, the more likely drivers are to see you. Some studies have found that wearing fluorescent clothing on not only your upper body but your lower body as well increases the likelihood of being seen and the distance from which you can be seen. If you plan on riding at night, increase your visibility by adding reflective clothing to your ensemble.
Bike lights can be used for a variety of reasons – to help the rider see better, to help other people better see the rider, and to indicate that the rider is braking. All three uses increase the safety of the rider. Bicyclists may especially want to consider lights that help others better see them at night as the NHTSA found that the majority of fatalities from bike accidents occurred between 6 and 9 pm. White lights should be used facing forward, and red lights should be used on the rear of the bike, facing backward.
Adding mirrors to the end of your handlebars can help you be more aware of your surroundings. They can eliminate blind spots and help you see what traffic is behind you. You can also mount mirrors to your helmet and/or sunglasses.
A bike bell is a great way to alert drivers, other bicyclists, and pedestrians that you are nearby. In some states, they are even required by law. An alternative to a bell is a horn, many of which can rival the intensity of a car horn.
How to fit a bike helmet
- Measure the circumference of your head around the thickest part of your head with a tape measure. Match that number to the size range listed on the helmet type you want to buy. If you’re between sizes, go with the smaller size.
- Place the helmet squarely on top of your head, just slightly above your eyebrows. The helmet should stick out farther than your nose.
- When you shake your head, even without the helmet buckled, the helmet should not move. To ensure this, adjust the knob at the back of the helmet. If your helmet does not have a knob for adjusting, add or remove the sizing pads that came with the helmet until the helmet fits snugly.
- Form a “V” with the side straps. There should be sliders on each of the side straps that you can move up or down as needed. These sliders need to be moved so that the straps form a “V” that comes together at the bottom of your ear.
- Adjust your chin strap. Your chin strap should be tight enough that you can only fit one finger between the strap and your chin.
Stay Safe Biking with Life360
Don’t let your friends and family worry about you while riding. Sharing your location with Life360 is a great way to stay connected – whether it is with your family or your cycling friends. Register for Life360 online today.