Bicycling is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the spring and summer months, whether for recreation, sport or transportation. With millions of cyclists on the roads, the same roads occupied by millions of motor vehicles, the National Safety Council believes that defensive driving applies to individuals on bicycles, as well as to motorists. Keep in mind that taking precautions in traffic and wearing protective equipment are a bike rider’s best defense in order to avoid unintentional injuries.
The National Safety Council offers the following tips for a safe and enjoyable bicycling experience:
1. Obey traffic rules and get acquainted with ordinances – Cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists.
2. Know your bike’s capabilities – Remember that bicycles differ from motor vehicles; they’re smaller and can’t move as fast. But, they can change direction more easily, stop faster and move through smaller spaces.
3. Ride in single file with traffic, not against it – Bicycling side by side can be dangerous. Bicyclists should stay as far right on the pavement as possible, watching for opening car doors, sewer gratings, soft shoulders, and broken glass and other debris. Remember to keep a safe distance from other vehicle and cyclists.
4. Make safe turns and cross intersections with care – Signal turns half a block before the intersection, using the correct hand signals (left arm straight out for left turn; forearm up for right turn). When traffic is heavy and the cyclist has to turn left, it is best to get off your bike and walk the bicycle across both streets at the respective crosswalks.
5. Always be seen – During the day, cyclists should wear bright clothing. Nighttime cycling is not advised, but if riding at night, retro reflective clothing designed to bounce back motorists’ headlight beams will make cyclists more visible.
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable biking experience! For more weekly safety tips, be sure to visit http://www.safetyconnections.com/.