Ten "Smart Routes" to Bicycle Safety
Protect Your Head - Wear A Helmet
Bicycle helmets can reduce head injuries by 85%. Select a helmet that fits snugly and sits flat atop the head.
For children, use the extra padding that comes with the helmet to help ensure a proper fit. The padding can be removed as the child grows.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends bicyclists wear a helmet that complies with Standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
See & Be Seen
Wear clothes that make you more visible. Wear neon, fluorescent or other bright colors when riding a bicycle.
Avoid Biking At Night
It is far more dangerous to bicycle at night than during the day. Most bicycles are equipped for daylight use and need to be adapted for nighttime use.
To ride at night, you should:
- Ride with reflectors that meet the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements. These should be permanently installed on bicycles for daytime use also.
- Add the brightest lights you fan find to the front and rear of your bicycle.
- Wear retro-reflective clothing or material on ankles, wrists, back, and helmet.
- Only ride in areas familiar to you. Brightly lit streets are best.
Stay Alert - Always Keep a Lookout for Obstacles in Your Path
Stay alert and watch out for:
- Drainage grates
- Expansion joints
- Loose gravel
- Railroad tracks
- Wet leaves
- Anything that could make you fall
Be especially careful in wet weather and when there may be ice or frost on your path.
Cross all railroad tracks at a 90-degree angle, proceed slowly, and use special care on bridges.
Go with the Flow - the Safe Way Is the Right Way
Ride on the right side in a straight and predictable path. Always go single file in the same direction as other vehicles. Riding against traffic puts you where motorists don't expect you.
Check for Traffic - Always Be Aware of the Traffic Around You
Over 70% of car-bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic. Always look left-right-left, and walk your bicycle while looking.
Learn the Rules of the Road - Obey Traffic Laws
Bicycles are considered vehicles, and bicyclists must obey the same rules as motorists. Learn the State driver's handbook, signal your moves and never wear headphones.
Assure Bicycle Readiness
Adjust your bicycle to fit you. Before riding, check to make sure all parts are secure and working well.
Stop It! Always Check Brakes First
Always control your speed by using your brakes. Keep your brakes adjusted. Riding in wet weather takes more stopping distance.
Wheels Should Be Securely Fastened
If your bicycle has quick release wheels, it is your responsibility to make sure they are firmly closed at all times and to use the safety retainer, if equipped.
Check wheels before every ride.