If you live in a city, you probably know that commuting to work on a bicycle is often far faster than driving or taking public transportation. It’s certainly the case in our home base of New York City, where the only predictable trait about the subway system is its consistent unreliability. It makes cycling here that much more convenient, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

According to a new study by Your Local Security, New York is the second most dangerous city in the US for bike riders. To determine its rankings, YLS pulled data from numerous sources to determine “the percentage of bike commuters, number of fatal crashes, amount of bike lanes, and what bike laws are in place or in the works in each city.” Other cities to fall short include LA, Houston and five municipalities in Iowa. On the flip side, six of the ten safest cities for cyclists are in California.

No matter where your home falls on the list, it’s important to realize that no matter how safe of a rider you judge yourself to be, it’s more often the choices of others on the road that contribute to an accident. Take as much control of that as you can — starting with how you outfit yourself for a ride. Below, you’ll find some of the urban-riding essentials that’ll help your city improve its place on the list.

Bell: Spurcycle Bell

Cars aren’t the only road users you have to worry about — use this good-looking bell to warn slower riders you’re making a pass and remind pedestrians that the bike lane isn’t an extension of the sidewalk.

Headlight: Light & Motion Urban 500 Headlight

Some cities require headlights by law, and if you’re riding in poorly-lit areas this is essential for seeing where you’re going and avoiding obstacles in your path.

Tail Light: Knog Blinder Road R70 Tail Light

A tail light is indispensible in alerting those behind you to your position on the road. This waterproof light emits 70 lumens of red light directly behind you but is visible from the sides too.

Helmet: Giro Sutton MIPS Helmet

Protect your head with this MIPS-equipped urban helmet.

Tape: 3M Scotchlite Reflective Tape

Commuter apparel often features hits of reflective taping, but if that’s not your style you can add it to your bike with a cheap roll of tape.

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