Illinois has some fantastic bike trails. Riders can cruise along Lake Michigan on Lake Shore Trail, hit the 606 trail in Chicago, or ride through forest preserves in the central and western parts of the state. The state’s climate appeals more to summer riders, but even when temperatures drop, many Illinois residents still prefer two wheels to four. Whether you’re doing the 19-mile lakefront trip, using the city’s Divvy rentals to get somewhere quick, or going for a longer ride outside the city, it’s important to be careful and follow the best practices on the road. Here are a few safety tips for cyclists in the state of Illinois.
Know local laws
State laws regarding bike riders vary from one state to the next. It’s important to know what Illinois laws allow for riders. In Illinois, bicyclists must obey the same laws as motorists when they’re riding on the road. Riders must also signal when turning or stopping. In some parts of the state, riders are allowed to ride on sidewalks, but must yield to pedestrians.
Wear protective equipment
Wearing a helmet sounds obvious, but many riders say they don’t do it. Make sure to get one that fits, and wear it strapped on during your ride. About two in three cyclist fatalities involve the head or face, and wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of a serious injury by up to 85 percent.
It’s also important to wear attire that makes you visible to drivers of cars on the road. Wear reflective gear, especially if you’re riding when it’s dark. Accidents commonly happen because a driver couldn’t see a cyclist due to limited visibility. Wearing bright and reflective clothing will make it easier for others to see you. It’s also important to install reflectors on your bike.
Check your bike before you ride
Before you take your bike for a ride, inspect it to make sure it’s in good condition. A malfunction can often lead to an accident. Make sure to test all of your gears and ensure all of your tires are fully inflated. Check to make sure that the reflectors, lights, and chains are all correctly attached and operating. It’s best practice to take your bike on a ride around the area to test out gears and brakes to make sure they’re working correctly.
If you’re in an accident
Even if you take all of these precautions, you can still be the victim of an accident while on a bike. Given the exposure of a bicyclist, a crash can often result in serious, sometimes long-term injuries.
If you are in an accident, seek medical attention immediately. Consider chiropractic care. Chiropractor professionals are specially trained to work with patients who experience many of the injuries that are common after a cycling accident. Riders can often experience neck and back pain and extended soreness. A chiropractor can create a plan for recovery that will help you recover from your pain and injuries more quickly.
Back on the bike
Taking safety precautions and following best cycling practices can help limit your chances of an accident. But when you’re on the road, you always assume some risk. If you do find yourself needing help after an accident, look into chiropractic care to help you heal and eventually get back on your bike again.
For more information, please contact us.