In 2014, the Washington Safety Traffic Commission published that there were 11 serious injury accidents involving cyclists in the state. When riding in cold weather, the risk of accident for a cyclist may be higher, especially if conditions are poor. To help keep you warm, comfortable and safe during the coldest days of the year, here are some bicycle safety tips for when it’s chilly out:
Wearing layers while riding in cold weather is a must when it’s cold. Not only does wearing layers give you the ability to peel off a shirt or two if you’re too toasty once you arrive at your destination, but also wearing layers will also help to trap heat next to your body as you ride. Choose a lightweight, polyester-based fabric for the layer that’s closest to your skin and avoid cotton.
Keep Your Head Warm
If your head isn’t covered, heat can escape from it, cooling your whole body. To avoid losing heat through your head and to stay more comfortable while cold-weather riding, always seek head protection. Consider a hat that’s designed to be worn under your helmet or earmuffs/warmers at the very least. And remember, never ride without a helmet, regardless of how tempting a big wool hat my sound.
Warm Gloves with a Good Grip
For cyclists, keeping the hands warm is perhaps the most important aspect of both safety and comfort – fingers, which are exposed on the handlebars, are often the first to chill, impairing the hands’ ability to grip the handlebars and work the brakes efficiently. If it’s cold outside, choose a good pair of gloves that will keep your hands toasty and consider wearing a thin pair of wool gloves under those. Also, make sure that the gloves you choose won’t affect your ability to grip the handlebars or work the brakes. A bike glove designed specifically for bad weather might do the trick.
Make Yourself More Visible
If it’s cold out, there’s a chance that it’s also foggy, rainy or snowy, too, all of which can affect motorists’ ability to see you. In fact, accident rates are high when lighting is poor or vision is otherwise impaired – the NHTSA reports that more than 30 percent of cyclists were killed during non-daylight hours in 2012. As such, always wear bright colors when riding and make sure your bike is equipped with reflectors and lights.
Meet with an Attorney if You Need Legal Representation
If you’ve been in a bike accident in Kirkland, Washington, and are looking for a legal representative who will help recover compensation for your injuries, look no further than the advocates at Max Meyers Law PLLC. Our attorneys will support and guide you through the legal process and are ready to sit down with you today for an initial no-cost consultation. Call us today at 425-399-7000.