The Bay Area is well-known to be a commuter’s worst nightmare. This explains why many Californians now prefer to use bicycles as their main source of transportation. But traveling on two wheels doesn’t always mean that commuters are safer. Just three years ago, nearly half a million bicyclists sustained injuries and 1,000 died following an accident. While you can’t always predict what other commuters will do on the road, there are things that you can do to decrease the risk of crashing your own bicycle.

Here are two ways to stay safe on your bike this summer and prevent injury.

Wear a helmet

You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again – always wear a properly fitted helmet. You may feel that carrying a bulky helmet around is a burden, but the inconvenience doesn’t come close to the price you’ll pay for an injury. Not only can the use of an appropriate helmet prevent head an brain injuries, but it can also spare you the cost of a ticket as California law requires bicyclists to wear helmets.

Adhere to traffic laws

It can be alluring to sidestep traffic laws to bypass rush hour. Yet, failing to follow the rules of the road as a cyclist can be a dicey mistake. Other travelers anticipate that you will follow the laws and weaving in and out of traffic can place everyone on the road in danger. Furthermore, using hand signals can be vital to let drivers know when you’ll be making a turn.

Chances are this isn’t the first time that you’ve been told to wear a helmet and obey the law, but don’t make it your last. Taking these guidelines seriously may be your best bet to thwart an accident and steer clear of what could be a catastrophic injury.