Riding a bike is a fun way to get from point A to point B, providing fresh air and exercise without the environmental impact of other forms of travel. However, cycling on the roads can result in serious injury if a collision with a motor vehicle occurs.
Keep yourself safe on your bicycle with these road safety tips.
Wear a helmet
Protect yourself from traumatic brain injury by wearing a properly fitted bike helmet each time you ride. According to AAA, the right bike helmet can reduce your risk of injury by up to 85%. Look for a model that holds certification from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Obey the rules of the road
When cycling on a busy road, you must abide by the same laws that apply to cars. This means stopping at stop signs and red lights, signaling before turns and proceeding with rather than against the flow of traffic. In most locations, cyclists can ride two abreast in a lane, but riding single-file is safer.
Remain visible to motorists
Leave plenty of distance between your bike and cars on the road. Avoid riding in a driver’s blind spots. When cycling at night, wear reflective clothing or tape to increase your visibility. You should also install reflectors and a bike light, which also comes in handy when the weather unexpectedly turns wet.
Be wary at intersections
Intersections are the most common location for collisions between bicycles and cars. When crossing the road, look both ways, and check twice before entering traffic. Remember to “look left, look right, look left” for the safest crossing. Move through the intersection quickly, and be alert for vehicles making a right or left turn into your path.
Although we hear a lot about driving distractions, cyclists should also avoid taking their attention off the road. Do not wear headphones or listen to music when biking.
With practice and good safety sense, you can incorporate road riding into your fitness and commuting routine. Be sure to share these tips with friends and family who drive, to help make the roads safer.