According to NHTSA, 818 bicyclists were killed in 2015 and thousands more were injured in bicycle accidents. Bicycle related collisions can be caused by both the bicyclist’s behavior and lack of attention by motorists. It is important for bicyclists to remember that while on public roads they hold the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, therefore, subject to the same rules and regulations.
By following the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety Tips you can decrease your chances of injury or death.
Wear your helmet per manufacturer directions as even a simple fall can cause a life threatening or permanent head injury
Ensure your bicycle is the right size and properly adjusted to fit you as a properly fitted bicycle is easier to control
By law, bicycle riders under 18 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet while riding on a public road
Make sure bicycle brakes are in good working order
Avoid running over potholes, gravel, broken glass, drainage grates, puddles you can’t see through, or other unsafe road conditions
Be Visible and Alert
Increase your visibility by wearing light or bright colored clothes (yellow or lime green)
Always look over your shoulder to make sure the lane is clear before turning or changing lanes
Use lights and reflectors at night that include
-A front lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet
-A rear red reflector visible from a distance of 500 feet-A white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles visible from a distance of 200 feet
-A brake which will enable the operator to make a one brake wheel stop on dry, level, clean pavement
How to Ride
Ride in the same direction as traffic which will make you more visible to drivers entering roads or changing lanes. NEVER ride against traffic
Stop and check for traffic in both directions when leaving a driveway, an alley or curb.
Walk your bike across busy intersections using the crosswalk and following traffic signals
Use bike lanes or designated bike routes wherever you can
Communicate your intentions and always be prepared to stop or take evasive action
Use hand signals before making turns or changing lanes to warn traffic around you
Watch Out For…
Opening Car Doors-Don’t ride too close to parked cars as doors can open suddenly.
Right Turning Vehicles-A vehicle that has just passed you may turn right
Opposite Traffic-Vehicles coming the opposite way may turn left in front of you
Remember that it is unlawful to operate a bicycle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or a drug.