Basic Safety Tips & items!

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by DrkAngel, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
    Once again, I would like to note that my "Math of Speed" is specifically to address the issue of the danger that I have no control over. Vehicles passing me.

    See the discussion here:
    http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f30/bicycle-safety-math-speed-3675/

    Any other factor can have the danger reduced, or eliminated, by the application of method or equipment.

    Bike:

    #1 Make sure bike is in good condition. Before any ride, check tires, wheels, spokes, cables, lights, and especially, brakes. (Keep spare brake pads on hand, if your brakes seem inadequate, adjust brakes, then clean wheels & pads with alcohol, need better? Change your pads, and compare.)

    #2 Armor your bike! Greatly reduce road hazard danger. Kevlar tires & slime tubes give you the confidence to run over many items, (rather than rapid redirection, near heavy traffic.) It's surprising how how much junk you can run into, tailpipes, bolts, broken glass etc.

    #3 Plan your ride! Very often you can greatly reduce danger by taking less trafficked streets and by timing for non-high traffic time slots!

    Visibility:

    Be seen!

    #1 Just found a better headlight than that which I previously recommended. 260 Lumens, low, high & Strobe mode, it zooms from wide, (notice me), to spot, (see road better), with the bonus of red ring for notice by side observers. $13 ... shipped!

    CREE Q5 Style New Version 260 lumen Ultra Bright USPS!! - eBay (item 170419963648 end time Apr-12-10 17:43:44 PDT)
    [​IMG]

    #2 Tail, turn signal & brake light.
    Good idea to let people know your intentions, and you can keep both hands on the bars. (Some people think it cute when a biker "waves" to them.) Less than $10 ... shipping included!

    DealExtreme: $8.65 9-LED Turning Signal Lights with Electronic Horn for Bicycles (2*AA)
    [​IMG]

    #3 It might seem overkill, ... I taped an air horn to my steering column, ... nice red "panic button"!

    Personal Gear:

    #1 Helmet. I resisted it for a long time. Finally, ... after I, "made it my idea", instead of listening to everyone telling me to wear one, I designed my own helmet, by adding rear 5 led flashy thing, rear view mirror, made from "inspection mirror" and additional headlight (260 lumen, capable of low, high, strobe!) Being capable of directing a strobe directly at menacing vehicles is a real attention getter!

    #2 Leather (padded) riding gloves. Not only do they look stylish and make rides more comfortable, but they give you some better contact points, in case of a road rashing.

    No! ... I do not rely on speed as my only safety measure!

    Speed is merely one of the tools that help reduce the risk.

    [​IMG] EZip Engineering 101 [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  2. ackra

    ackra New Member

    1
    0
    0
    Bicycle Directional Signals

    Last year I lost a friend to a horrible bicycling accident when he was killed.
    Had he signaled properly this accident may never have occurred.

    Why turning signals are not a requirement for all bikes, I'll never understand.
    I purchased mine at safetybikesignals.com.
     

  3. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
  4. sarahk

    sarahk New Member

    28
    0
    0
    We were chatting this morning about how we need a horn when riding through the CBD!

    Add to your weight much?
     
  5. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
    Canned Air - Airhorn

    Local "Dollar Store" had $1, canned air, horns, very loud! I decided to tape one to my steering column, nice to have a panic button. Weight is near 4 ounces.

    Would like to position for hands on brake access, will have to think, and try, for better positioning.

    [​IMG] EZip Engineering 101 [​IMG]
     
  6. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
    Bicycle Accidents

    The vast majority of bicycle vs vehicle accidents are due the biker not being seen. Most of the remainder are due to improper, or unsafe riding practices or locations.

    Veteran bikers, even though they travel the most road miles, suffer a much lower percentage of accidents, when compared to the novice.

    [​IMG] EZip Engineering 101 [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  7. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

    12,350
    651
    113
    Try driving a Kea camper through Parnell during lunch.
     
  8. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
    Bicycle Accidents ... Causes%

    I've been doing a lot of hunting for the statistics on types of bicycle vs vehicle accidents. Most striking was that near to 70% were due to improper riding, or equipment!

    #1 Highest percentage of accidents were due to riding at night, or dusk, without lights.

    #2 Next, most dangerous, was riding on the wrong side of the road. Riding against traffic might seem safer, to the novice biker, but accounted for a high percentage of accidents, as well as a very high percentage of deaths.

    #3 Intersections! Definitely very high accident area. Surprisingly, a very large percentage were due to bicyclists using crosswalks! ... ???

    #4 Sidewalks ... they might seem the safe place to ride, but most reports, specifically, rate sidewalks as more dangerous than streets. When coupled with crosswalks and driveway exits, sidewalks accounted for more than 50% of all bike accidents.

    Yes, I realize that "highest percentage" was awarded to "no lights" as well as "sidewalks", however "no lights" is actually a contributory factor to any "type" of accident, not a "type", in itself.

    Lesson learned?

    #1 Train the new rider, avoid sidewalks, ride "with traffic", not against it.

    #2 Be seen! Headlights & taillights at night. Highly recommend "strobe" headlight during day with flashing taillight, also.

    [​IMG] EZip Engineering 101 [​IMG]
     
  9. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

    870
    0
    0
    I am sorry you lost your friend. But not all bikes may be able to have signals moutned to them. Recumbents or tandems for example. It would require special mounting and longer wiring.

    Here is a better idea. Make using hand signals a requirement for cyclists. Oh, wait, it already is in most if not all states. It falls under cyclists obeying the same traffic laws as motorists. Which include signalling turns and lane changes. I am sure you have the same or similar law in your state.

    Had your friend, and again I am sorry he was killed, signalled, you admitted he did not, he may be alive today. How do you know he would have used the same type of signal you purchased. Just because he would have had a device like that he still may not have used it, still would have had a collision with a motor vehicle and still would have lsot his life. A piece fo safety equipment will not protect you from anything, especially if you do not use it.

    You also need to consider the fact that even if he had signalled he still would have been hit and killed. So just because you do signal, whether with your hand or an $90 piece of equipment does not mean some motorist will not hit you. And no, it does not even lessen the chances of a motorist hitting you.

    Once again I am sorry your friend lost his life. No one deserves that. But my advice to you at this point is grieve as you will naturally do, there is nothing wrong with that and move on with your life. If you are planning on trying to make mandatory turn signals like the one you use you may want to rethink that.
     
  10. SUX VR40 Rider

    SUX VR40 Rider New Member

    870
    0
    0
  11. greenhorn

    greenhorn greenhorn

    128
    0
    0
    Great information on safe riding. It never hurts to refresh your mind on safety practices. Staying alert at all times is the name of the game. The minute you know it all and can't learn is when a car will do the unexpected and nail you.
    Someone posted a link on 10 steps to safe riding, great piece...the best statement was, ride like you're invisible.
    Ride like no one else can see you and do everything you can to avoid a confrontation with a car.
    I notice some might have an attitude about cars purposefully making it tough for cyclists on the road. No one wins when you try to force your road rights. A cyclist following road signs, following the law and not holding up traffic just to prove a point rarely have run-ins on the road.
     
  12. LarryM

    LarryM Eocyclist

    742
    15
    18
  13. LarryM

    LarryM Eocyclist

    742
    15
    18
    Angel, could you post a link to or source for those stats. Thanks
     
  14. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  15. DrkAngel

    DrkAngel New Member

    85
    0
    0
    50 - 50

    Sifting through the multitude of facts and figures, the general consensus seems to be that drivers and bikers seem to share, almost equally, as the causers of accidents.

    The bad news ... if you ride in a totally legal fashion, you only reduce your probability of an accident by 50%.

    The good news ... there is is much you can do to reduce the other 50%!

    Reprint of previous post.

    There is always disrespect & outright danger for bicyclists.

    There are many things that can be done to make riding safer and more enjoyable.

    1. Obey the law!

    Please remember that we have most of the rights, and responsibilities!, of motor vehicles.

    Ride with traffic. Bicycles are, legally, to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against traffic.

    At stop signs & red lights:

    #1 Signal for turns and always STOP.

    #2 Position yourself in the center of the lane, you are much easier to see and following drivers can't right-turn across you.

    #3 Make sure you are noticed, before proceeding through intersections!

    Although you, legally, have the right to a traffic lane, you will get all the respect of an old fart, putting along at half the speed of traffic. When possible use less traveled “side streets” and always stay well to the right, so as to NOT hold up traffic.

    In regards to pedestrians, they have unequivocal priority over the Biker. You stop for them & give them every possible right of way.
    If you ride on a sidewalk, (not recommended), be especially careful of driveways, or alleys, "in town", be aware of doorways, keep your speed moderate enough so that you can stop, or swerve, for any exiting shoppers.

    Remember, respect is earned. The definition of a good driver is that they "blend smoothly with traffic". This applies equally to the biker. Obey the laws and respect others rights. Makes everyone’s day much better.

    2. Be seen!

    Most all bike vs car accidents are because "I just didn't see him."
    I equipped my bike with;

    1. Tail-turn signal-brake light
    DealExtreme: $8.65 9-LED Turning Signal Lights with Electronic Horn for Bicycles (2*AA)

    2. Wide angle LED headlight with low, high and strobe function
    a. Reversing light, in "mount", provides much better "balance.
    b. 3-aaa can be replaced with 18500 Li-ion (rechargeable).
    c. Use "strobe" mode during daylight and in well lit streets.
    d. Mount additional light to helmet. Directing a strobe at a menacing vehicle really gets their attention!
    DealExtreme: $11.99 Flood-to-Throw Zooming Cree P4-WC 3-Mode LED Bike Light with Mount (3*AAA)

    2b. Just found a better headlight than that which I previously recommended. 260 Lumens, (much brighter), low, high & Strobe mode, it zooms from wide, (notice me), to spot, (see road better), with the bonus of red ring for notice by side observers. (Does not include bicycle mount.) $13 ... shipped!

    CREE Q5 Style New Version 260 lumen Ultra Bright USPS!! - eBay (item 170419963648 end time Apr-12-10 17:43:44 PDT)

    3. I also wear a red flashy light on the back of my hat-helmet

    4. Found some air horns at local "Dollar Tree" store, taped one to steering column, nice "panic button!"

    3. Be Aware!

    Most important is to be aware of what's going on. No one is going to look out for you better than yourself!
    Personally, I could not find a rear view mirror that I was happy with, so I designed my own. I attached a small "inspection mirror" to a hair clip, with some duct tape, and placed it on my hat brim. "Wide angle" mirrors do not work well, focus is severely distorted at close range.


    4. Keep your bike in good condition.


    Check your tires for possible damage & proper inflation, also check spokes.
    Check all components for excessive wear, tightness, squeaks etc.
    Most important is check and adjust brakes, frequently!

    [​IMG] EZip Engineering 101 [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  16. LarryM

    LarryM Eocyclist

    742
    15
    18

    Good sources all.

    In another thread I posted some other sites that point to some interesting original study documents:
    bicyclinginfo.org. Their stats resource page is bicyclinginfo.org: Crash and Safety Resources and Research

    I see you cited one of reports at Bicycling Life. A batch of others at Bicycling Life can beread at. Bicycling Life Home Page,

    John Allen's research page has more links to original sources:Postings and reviews of bicycle-related research studies

    A interseting study from Toronto detailed 2,700 crashes by type is really worth the read too: http://www.toronto.ca/transportatio...tor-vehicle/pdf/car-bike_collision_report.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010