You should consider two types of clothing for bicycle safety: protective clothing and clothing that makes you more visible. Protective clothing, such as helmets and bike gloves, will aid you in the event of a crash. Clothing that will aid in visibility will make you more noticeable to motorists.
The function of each piece of bicycle safety clothing varies. A properly-fitted bicycle helmet, for instance, protects the head in the event of an accident. The bicycle helmet safety institute states that helmets should be replaced after one crash in which the helmet takes a blow.
Bike gloves, which have special padding to make a ride more comfortable, also double as hand protection if you fall.
Wearing bright clothing, such as reds, oranges or yellows, increases the chances of motorists noticing you. In addition, reflective clothing, such as a reflective vest, reflective leg bands or a reflective triangle, can increase visibility during the day or night, bicyclesafe.com points out.
Sunglasses increase visibility and provide protection from any projectiles, like bugs, that might fly at your eyes.
Bicycle helmets can prevent 85 percent of head injuries in cyclists, according medical research cited by the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also advises bicyclists to wear bright clothing during the day and reflective tape at night.
Without proper education on bicycle riding, wearing a bicycle helmet might actually lead to people taking more chances and becoming injured. A New York Times article by Julian E. Barnes cited by bicycleuniverse.info found that the rate of cyclists' head injuries increased 51 percent from 1991 to 2001 despite an increase in the prevalence of helmets. In the article, risk analysts surmised that helmets led to overconfidence.
Bicycle safety clothing won't help you if you ride carelessly. Remember to obey the rules of the road and to be cautious and constantly aware of your surroundings. This, coupled with wearing proper clothing, will increase the likelihood of your ride being safe and enjoyable.