Toledo Bicycle Safety Tips

Because of all the risks associated with cycling, it is beneficial to know some basic safety guidelines before you head out on your next bicycle ride. Cyclists in urban areas are especially susceptible to injury and should take extra precautions.

While you can never completely prevent a negligent motorist from hitting you, you can reduce your chances of being severely injured in a bicycle accident by following some basic Toledo bicycle safety tips. If you want to know more about bicycle safety, or if you have been an accident, contact a capable bicycle accident lawyer that can help.

Importance of Bicycle Helmets

The United States does not have a federal law mandating that cyclists wear protective safety helmets. Nationwide, most states have enacted laws requiring the use of helmets. However, Ohio is not currently one of those states.

Within Ohio, there are several municipalities that have passed ordinances requiring children under a certain age to wear helmets. However, it remains the right of a majority of Ohioans to choose to wear a helmet or not.

Statistics show that helmets substantially help prevent serious injuries and death. It is estimated at 90% of bicycle deaths resulted from accidents involving a motor vehicle. And most of those involved a cyclist who was not wearing a safety helmet.

Studies have shown that helmets reduce the risk of head trauma by as much as 85%. Despite the risk of injury and the clear benefit of helmets, more than half of the 70,000,000 riders in the United States do not wear helmets on a regular basis. Although Ohio law does not require people to wear a helmet, it is strongly encouraged that they buy a properly fitted helmet and use it whenever they ride their bicycle.

Helmet Tips

  • Look for bike helmets that have labels stating they are CPSC, ANSI, ASTM, or Snell certified. These certifications mean that the helmet has been tested for safety and meets safety standards
  • Always take your child with you when purchasing a helmet, even if you think you know their head size. Sizes vary brand to brand and model to model
  • Help young children put their helmets on
  • Ensure older children know how to properly put on the helmet and enforce them wearing it every single time they ride their bike
  • Bike helmets are only designed to withstand one serious impact. Inspect helmets before each use and replace if there is any damage or they have been involved in any accident

Following the Rules of the Road

One of the Toledo bicycle safety tips to keep in mind is, following already existing traffic laws. Cyclists are required to obey all traffic laws and the best way for someone to ensure their safety is by following those laws.

Individuals should always ride with the flow of traffic. It is an all too common sight to see cyclists riding against the flow of traffic. That is dangerous and illegal. It is also important to never ride against the flow of traffic, as motorists do not expect to see people coming towards them. Instead, people can ride on the right-hand side of the road.

Bikes are not equipped with brake lights or turn signals. As such, it is very important to make sure that you communicate with vehicles around you. Using hand signals are a person’s way of communicating their intentions to motorists.

Maintaining Awareness of Surrounding and Visibility

While it might seem appealing, listening to music while cycling can be quite dangerous because cyclists cannot hear what is going on around them. Cyclists should avoid compromising their safety by having headphones on, particularly in heavy traffic.

When an individual is cycling, they should wear fluorescent or brightly-colored clothing so motorists can easily see them. When riding in the evening, people should avoid dark clothes. Instead, they should find and wear reflective clothing.

When cycling during the night, Ohio law requires that their bicycle is equipped with reflectors, a headlight on the front and a rear red reflector and/or light on the back. Motorists have a difficult time seeing cyclists at night and using lights and reflectors, and wearing reflective gear will increase their visibility. If individuals do want to know more Toledo bicycle safety tips, they should speak with a skilled bicycle accident lawyer that can help.


Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC