Some people enjoy commuting to and from work on a bicycle because it saves them time and money. Others enjoy bicycling in their spare time, as it allows them to connect with nature while also getting exercise.

Regardless of why and when you typically jump on your bike, you should take precautions.

Here are five bicycle safety tips anyone can follow:

  • Wear the appropriate safety gear: You hope that you’re never involved in an accident, but if you are it’s this safety gear that can help prevent serious injury or even death. A helmet is most important, but also consider things such as gloves and long pants.
  • Take the lane: When a bicycle lane is available, it’s the best place to ride. It’s designated for bicyclists only, so there’s less concern about a motor vehicle getting in the way and causing trouble.
  • Avoid distractions: As a bicyclist, there are distractions everywhere. Whether it’s pedestrians or your cellphone, don’t let anything take your attention away from the task at hand.
  • Follow the rules of the road: Just because you’re on a bicycle doesn’t mean you can do what you want. For example, make sure you stop at red lights and stop signs. Neglecting to do so will anger drivers, while also putting you at risk of an accident.
  • Use hand signals: Not all drivers will understand what you’re doing, but hand signals go a long way in getting their attention. If you’re slowing down or making a turn, use the proper signal to alert those around you.

Even if you follow these bicycle safety tips, you could still find yourself in trouble. Should this come in the form of an accident with a motor vehicle, your health is a top priority. Administer first aid, call 911 and then seek treatment at a local hospital.

As soon as you’re able to do so, collect evidence from the accident and learn more about your legal rights. You may be in a position to take action against the person who caused the crash.