California climate allows residents to enjoy riding their bicycles year-round. Whether you use your bike to commute to work or to simply enjoy a morning or evening outing, riding a bicycle comes with a slew of health and well-being benefits. However, taking your eyes from the road can be just as dangerous for you behind the handles of your bike as it is behind the wheel of a car.
Distracted cycling is as rampant as distracted driving. When you’re riding a bike, there are plenty of distractions awaiting you that can make your journey dangerous.
Earbuds or headphones
Just as you might listen to the radio while driving a car, you also might use headphones to listen to music or a podcast while you bike. But this can be dangerous and distracting. Because you’re focused on what you’re listening to, you can’t pay attention to your surroundings as well as you should be able to.
Additionally, headphones and earbuds prevent you from hearing honks, warnings or other auditory signals that there’s a potential hazard.
It can be easy to get caught up in admiring the scenery when you’re on a bike ride, especially if it’s just a leisurely ride. But like in cars, taking your eyes off of your riding path even for a few seconds can change everything.
In the time you spend glancing at a funny sign, a beautiful view or an interesting shop, you might hit a pothole or a person. You could even miss a traffic sign and ride right into an intersection. There are many unfortunate things that could happen when you take your eyes off of your riding path, even for a moment.
Yes, cell phones distract just as easily on a bike as they do in a car. You may not think the consequences of answering a phone, snapping a picture or sending a text would be as disastrous on a bike. But it may be just as dangerous. Taking a hand off your handles for any reason makes it difficult to maintain control of your bike.
Not only that, but California has included bicyclists in their laws that ban vehicle operators from using cell phones and headsets while riding.
Avoid the consequences of distracted cycling
Just because you aren’t as big as a motor vehicle, doesn’t mean the consequences of crashing your bike are any less serious. In fact, they may be just as deadly, as you have less protection on the seat of your bicycle than you do in your car. You can avoid serious injury and continue enjoying your bike rides when you practice safe and distraction-free cycling.