With the summer coming up, there is bound to be an increasing number of cyclists on the roads in Louisville. Cycling is a terrific way to stay in shape, reduce your carbon footprint and even save money. People do it for fun and for practical reasons.

Unfortunately, all of those people face some serious risks on the road, no matter why they ride. Car accidents involving bicycles are incredibly dangerous and all it takes is one mistake to put you in the hospital. To stay safe on your bike this year, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always ride with the traffic. It may feel unnerving to have cars at your back, but the odds of getting hit by someone behind you are actually rather small.
  • Leave the headphones at home. It can be nice to listen to a podcast or to your music while you ride, but it distracts you from the road and makes you more vulnerable.
  • Buy something bright to wear, like an orange vest or a lime green helmet. Do not just choose black, gray and other dark colors that blend in. Stand out and increase your visibility.
  • If you ride at night, use lights and reflectors on your bike. You may also want to consider clothes with reflective material on them.
  • Anticipate mistakes. Assume that drivers don’t see you. Stay alert, and be ready to react immediately.
  • Stick to roads with slower speed limits. This may help you avoid a crash or at least reduce the severity if you do get hit.

These tips may not prevent an accident. If you get badly injured, make sure you know what legal rights you have to compensation.