10 Steps to Bicycle Safety
- Be protected. Always wear an approved bicycle helmet. Adult cyclists as well as children receive serious and sometimes fatal head injuries. 75% of cycle-related fatalities are due to head injury. Statistics show that 95% of the children in the U.S. own and ride a bicycle and 80% of the crashes involving children under 15 years old are caused by the children themselves. Wearing an approved bicycle helmet reduces head injuries by 85%.
- Be visible. Smart cyclists make themselves easy to see. If you are out after dark or in fog or rain, make sure motorists can see you. Use lights, reflectors and reflective tape. A bell or horn is also a good idea. Wear light or bright colors like red, white or yellow. Put an extra bit of reflective tape on the pedals. Wear reflective bands on your wrists and ankles or on the front and back of your jacket.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals. Signs and signals are posted to protect your life and the lives of others. They must be obeyed.
- Ride with traffic. Remember- you must not ride in the middle of the road, or on the left-hand side, or weave your bike from side to side. Always be very careful when you pass parked cars. Thoughtless motorists sometimes open doors on the traffic side, right in your path. Be alert.
- Ride single file on the street. Always ride one behind the other. Do not follow too closely. Keep at least one bike length behind the cyclist ahead in case you have to stop suddenly.
- Stop before riding into the street from your driveway or a lane. Motorists may not have time to see you if you pop out suddenly.
- Always walk your bike at busy corners. It's impossible to see in all directions at once. Traffic is tricky at corners, so the safest thing to do is to dismount and walk your bike across with the pedestrians.
- Never ride two on a bicycle. Unless you have a tandem bicycle (a bicycle built for two) your bike was built to carry only one person. Never carry passengers on the handlebars, crossbar or seat.
- No "trick riding" on streets or highways. Trick riding on the streets, roads or highways isn't smart - it's dumb. Good cyclists don't have to show off.
- Lock your bicycle. When leaving your bicycle in a school yard, shopping plaza or other location, make sure you lock your bicycle to avoid it being stolen. Lock it with a sturdy lock or lose it!
- Always wear a helmet
- Wear proper clothes
- Make sure your bike is adjusted properly
- Check brakes before riding
- Ride with traffic. Keep to the right of the road
- Be aware of traffic around you
- Stay alert - Keep a look out for obstacles in your path
- Obey all traffic signals
- Show off
- Zigzag, race or stunt ride in traffic
- Hitch rides on trucks or cars
- Accept passengers
- Carry large packages which can get in your way
- Ride against traffic
- Tailgate or ride too close