AAA estimates that Americans spend over $8,000 per year driving a car. (Click here to read more). Yes, you read that right $8,000. That’s a large chunk of change spent on gas, maintenance and repairs. If you could do something to slim that number down some, would you? Have you ever thought of alternate ways to commute such as walking, bicycling or even car-pooling? Chances are you may not be live close enough to walk or have someone who lives close enough to you to car-pool, but bicycling may be a viable option.
Not only will you save on car expenses, you will get more exercise, be more environmentally friendly, and you may even save money on your auto insurance by lowering the miles driven per year. But before you jump on the bicycle and take off…make sure you stay safe while bicycling.
Before hopping on your bike to head out to work, make sure to do some prep work ahead of time.
Practice your rout eon the weekend or drive it in your car to make sure it is safe. Know the laws that apply to bikers and how to interact with motorists while sharing the road.
Wear protective gear while bicycling.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Helmets should be worn so that they cover your forehead with the straps fastened.
- Take care of a helmet by placing it in its proper storage place and not throwing it around when you are not wearing it.
- Place reflective stickers on helmets, especially for kids, so that motorists can see them on the road.
- If you fall down, get a new helmet, as it may not be as effective after a crash.
- Wear brightly colored clothes to increase your visibility to those on the road.
- Do not wear loose pants or have long backpack straps or loose shoelaces.
- Always wear sneakers when biking.
- Make sure you bike has visible reflectors so you can be seen during periods of poor lighting (dusk and dawn).
Follow the rules of the road while biking.
Keep an eye out for motorists, even if you are on a sidewalk or trail. When crossing a busy road, walk your bike through the intersection instead of riding it. Always keep your hands on the handlebars. Obey traffic laws just like motorists. That means stopping at stop signs and obeying streetlights. Always be on the lookout for common fall spots, like potholes. Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns for others bikers and motorists.
Biking instead of hopping in your car can be a great alternative way to commute, as long as you are taking the necessary steps to stay safe while bicycling. Along with this post, there are numerous resources to learn about bicycle commuting.
- League of American Bicyclists at bikeleague.org.
- S. Department of Transportation at www.dot.gov.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at nhtsa.gov.
We would appreciate it if you could take a moment and share this article with others. Stay Safe!