Monthly e-Tip: Bicycle Tips
In 2011, 677 bicyclists were killed and hundreds of thousands 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
- 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.