Bicycling is great way to stay in shape, save money on gas, and reduce pollution. However, riding a bike can be hazardous. Bicycles share the road with motor vehicles, so both bikers and drivers should take precautions.
1. Follow the traffic laws.
When sharing the road, bicycles should travel with traffic and follow the same rules as those driving cars. Obey signs and lights. Use hand signals to indicate turns and stops. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Make sure you signal your moves to others.
2. Wear a helmet.
This is the most important safety tip of all for bikers. Wearing a helmet reduces the odds of head injury by 50 percent. Make sure your helmet fits properly; that it’s not loose or wobbly. And parents, be a good role model for your keiki by wearing your own helmet. For tips on how to choose a helmet, visit the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute.
3. Ride on bike paths and in bike lanes wherever possible.
Bike paths and lanes are designed just for bikers, and are safe places to ride. If you must ride in the street, keep to the far right side of the road, ride in the same direction as the traffic, and obey all traffic laws. And similar to operating a motor vehicle, be aware of potholes, construction areas, and pedestrians.
4. See and be seen.
Whether it’s the day, dawn, dusk, or night, you need to be seen by others. Wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding. Also, try to wear something that reflects light such as reflective tape or makings. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
5. Skip the soundtrack.
It might be enjoyable to listen to music while you ride, but it can also cut you off from the world around you. Awareness matters when it comes to bike safety. If you have kids, make sure you discourage them from wearing headphones or ear buds while riding, too.