When you take your bicycle out for a spin in your neighborhood or on a long trek the chance of getting in an accident might not cross your mind. But being prepared for worst-case scenario can help you preserve your safety.

Through data collected in recent years, it’s clear to see that accidents including pedestrian and bicyclist victims in Atlanta are on the rise. Although you can’t go out to your regular routes and paint and construct a designated biking path, there are actions you can take to increase your safety and protect yourself against serious injuries.

Wear a helmet

Although you might not consider a helmet to be stylish, the benefits of protecting your head while you ride are countless. One main reason to protect your noggin is that it can cut the chance of a head injury in half. It’s worth keeping in mind that head injuries that result from collision can span from a minor scrape to a traumatic brain injury that can leave you with chronic pain. Additionally, a helmet can shield you from rain, snow or sun rays and increase your visibility if it’s bright in color or reflective.

Shine a light or don’t ride at night

Car-bike crashes often happen because a car claims to not see a bicyclist. Riding at night naturally decreases your visibility, making it essential to install lights to your bike if you cycle after sunset. Specifically, to comply with state law, Georgia bikers must have white light on the front of their bike that is visible from 300 feet away. Having a red light or reflector at the back of your ride can also help cars spot you on the road.

Don’t clog the road

Whether your riding with company or alone, it’s important to ride as close to the side of the road as possible. Although you have many of the same rights as other vehicles on the road, your slower speed will leave plenty of motorists wanting to pass you. And when there isn’t much space to pass you by, a terrible accident can happen.

If you find it difficult to ride amongst traffic, then it’s probably best to stick to designated bike trails and seek alternative ways to commute. Otherwise, implementing a more cautious mindset can keep you pedaling for many more years to come.