Whether you ride a bike as your main means of transportation or because you want to get in shape, one of your goals is to be safe on the road. You know that you face some serious hazards, and a lot of things are out of your control. If a driver turns in front of you when they don’t see your bike, for instance, you could suffer serious injuries.

To keep yourself safe the next time you go out, use these cycling safety tips:

  • Put on a helmet. Even for short rides, a helmet is necessary. You can never predict an accident. Do not take chances. It may not stop you from getting hurt, but it can lower the odds of a serious head injury and death.
  • Do a bike safety check. Make sure your bike is ready to operate flawlessly so that a simple issue doesn’t cause a crash. Check the brakes, gears, wheels, tires, pedals, lights and reflectors before each ride.
  • Look for bike lanes. Pick your route based on streets that offer you additional protection by separating you from cars. You do have a right to ride on the road with traffic, of course, but it is safer to use bike lanes when possible.
  • Put on high-visibility clothing. Pick colors like red, orange and yellow. Wear things that you know drivers can see easily, especially if you are biking at night, in the early morning or in the evening.

These tips can help you stay safe, but cycling accidents may still happen. If you get hit by a negligent driver, make sure you know what legal rights you have to compensation.