Safety Tips for Cyclists and Pedestrians During COVID-19

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( — May 21, 2020) —

With most Americans practicing social distancing and under shelter-in-place orders, there has been a significant drop in vehicle traffic. However, the number of cyclists on the road has increased, and this is because:


    Riding bicycles is cost-effective.

    It allows people to practice social distancing.

    It’s a great way to exercise, especially now that gyms and yoga centers are closed.

    Summer is fast approaching, and the weather is beautiful.


But, cyclists and pedestrians still need to take safety seriously to stop the spread of the coronavirus. An injury on your bike may require a visit to the hospital, which takes away time from COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, you may have to wait longer to see a doctor because hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.


Bicycle injuries


Although traffic collisions are down by 38%, bicycle collisions are up by 2.7% during this pandemic. Luckily, it’s easy to reduce your chances of getting injured as a cyclist or pedestrian with some preparation.


Here are some safety tips for cyclists and pedestrians during COVID-19.


1. Virus safety


The stay-at-home order doesn’t mean you can’t workout outside your home. For the most part, you can walk and exercise outside as long as you don’t assemble. Additionally, the CDC recommends keeping a distance of at least six feet between you and other people.


It also isn’t ideal to engage in any group activities, whether it’s cycling or spending time with friends. But, you can cycle or take a walk with family members you live with and who are in good health as long as they don’t show any symptoms. However, don’t go out riding with older family members or individuals that are susceptible to contracting the coronavirus.


You should also never ride on crowded paths or trails where maintaining a safe distance from others might be a challenge. And, if you have to, choose a time where no one is out, such as in the morning or late in the afternoon.


Try practicing personal hygiene as well to minimize your chances of contracting the coronavirus. For instance, avoid touching items other people may have come in contact with. You can also wash your bicycle once you get home to get rid of any germs that it may have.


For bike rentals, wipe down your bicycle’s set, handlebars, and brakes before you ride. Don’t touch your face while riding, washing your hands, and sanitizing as soon as you can.


For pedestrians, sanitize and wash your hands when you’re outside. And, wear a mask at all times, whether you’re taking a walk down the street or to the grocery store.


2. Pre-ride safety


First, you need to make sure your bicycles are well maintained and in good working condition. The last thing you want is riding a bike with faulty brakes as you may knock over a pedestrian, injuring you both.


Second, ensure you have the proper safety equipment to protect yourself from physical injuries. These include:


    Helmet – wearing a helmet for your ride reduces your odds of a head injury by up to 30%.

    Lights – having front and rear lights ensures your path is visible at dusk and dawn.

    Clothes wear visible clothes such as bright yellow or orange to improve pedestrians’ ability to see you.

    Gloves – gloves protect your hands in case you fall, preventing scratches.


3. Out on the road


While riding or walking, obey the traffic laws, including street signs, road markings, and signals. For instance, running stop signs puts you and other pedestrians in danger. For pedestrians, only cross at designated crossing areas. Although there is minimal traffic and you may be tempted to cross anywhere, it’s safer to stick to designated intersections.


Lastly, stay alert by watching out for potholes, curbs, glass, and bottles as these items pose a huge risk to cyclists and pedestrians.


Keeping yourself safe during this pandemic is vital for your health and mental well being.