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Bicycle Accidents

How to Stay Safe While Bicycling in Ohio This Winter

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of people killed on bicycles each year is increasing. In 2016, 18 bicyclists in Ohio were killed in accidents and approximately 1,500 bicycle-related crashes occurred. To reduce the risk of being injured or killed in a vehicle accident, Ohio bicyclists must exercise caution and follow certain safety strategies, particularly if they are considering biking to work this winter.

Understand the Risks of the Road

Bicycling to work in the winter presents significant risks. Cold weather, as well as ice, can lead to dangerous conditions for cyclists. Despite this, there are many benefits to bicycling in the winter, including that commuting to work this way helps improve your overall health and fitness. Riding a bike to work means that you will not need to make time to go to the gym; you will already be receiving an adequate amount of exercise.

When you understand the risks associated with bicycling in the winter, you will remain cautious and on the lookout for potential winter hazards. Take a curve in the road or turns slowly and carefully. Additionally, you should carry the equipment you will need to repair any tire punctures to avoid getting stranded in winter conditions.

Use the Appropriate Safety Gear

By wearing the proper winter cycling clothing and gear, you can make sure you stay safe. It is important to wear layers while bicycling during this winter. Then, based on the temperatures each day, you can either decide to add or remove layers. Many bicyclists decide to wear either long underwear during the winter or a special wind-blocking jacket that helps keep them warm.

A Special Note About Gloves

Cyclists need to take extra precautions in the winter to keep their hands warm. Many bicyclists select bar mitts, which remain attached to the bars and protect their hands from the cold. They can then wear a thin part of gloves and still have a sufficient amount of mobility to fully control a bike. Whatever option you choose, it is important to wear some types of gloves, otherwise, you risk your hands freezing and losing the ability to safely maneuver your bike.

Have a Backup Plan

Many experienced cyclists are capable of riding incredible distances and enduring adverse weather conditions. If the weather turns unexpectedly bad, however, it can help to have a backup plan in place to commute to work. This way, you will not be forced into weathering either extremely cold temperatures or too much snow.

Make Sure Your Bicycle is Kept Clean

To make the road safe for motorists, Ohio uses salts and other materials to melt the snow and ice that accumulates on the road. These substances can lead to corrosion on your bicycle. Bicyclists who plan on routinely using their bicycles during the winter should make sure to wash and rinse their bikes after each ride.

Some experienced bicyclists even go so far as to acquire neutralizing agents that are then mixed with the water to further combat corrosion. If you jump on a bike that is corroded and attempt to ride it this winter, you can quickly end up in a deadly accident.

Reduce Tire Pressure

During the winter, it is a good idea to reduce the pressure of the tires on your bicycles. Doing this increases the amount of contact that the tires have with the road, which in turn results in increased stability. If you need additional traction, purchase winter bicycle tires.

A Special Note About Ice

It is difficult to spot ice until you are traveling across it. These spots can cause you to lose control of your bicycle. The best way to avoid ice of this nature is to be careful about where you ride your bike. Black ice forms in areas where there are water drains like gutters and puddles. You should avoid biking over these areas and should instead focus on traveling where other vehicles and pedestrians have recently traveled.

Speak With an Ohio Accident Lawyer

No matter what safety strategies bicyclists use, there is always a risk of ending up in a serious accident. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and another party is responsible, do not hesitate to contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule a free case evaluation. During our first meeting, a lawyer will review your various options to pursue legal compensation. Contact us today for assistance.

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