Bicycling is a fun way to exercise and experience the great outdoors. It’s a convenient mode of transportation as well as a wonderful family activity.
May is Bicycle Safety Month and with summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to review some basic safety rules for riding a bicycle.
The latest figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that more than 50,000 bicyclists were injured in 2009 — and 630 died in accidents involving vehicles. The NHTSA offers these safety tips for riding your bike.
About Your Bicycle
Before you head out on a ride, check your bike and
- always use a helmet, no matter how old you are
- use a bicycle that is the right size for you so you can control it properly
- make sure your tires have the right amount of air and the brakes work
- wear bright colors so motorists can see you
- get bright rear and front lights
Rules for Riding Your Bicycle on the Street
Bicyclists must follow the same traffic rules as car drivers. When bicycling on the street, you should
- obey all traffic laws, including stoplights, signs, signals and lane markings
- yield to pedestrians
- signal when turning
Also, be alert when passing parked cars as someone might open the door.
Rules for Riding Your Bicycle on the Sidewalk
It is best to ride on the street, especially if there are bike lanes. The sidewalk is fine for children who are not old enough to ride in the street without adult supervision, although some local laws do not allow this. If your child rides on the sidewalk, make sure they
- are alert for cars entering and exiting driveways
- stop at all intersections before crossing the street
- alert pedestrians when coming up behind them, telling them they’re about to pass on their left or right, or using a horn
Next: 10 Bike-Related Recalls to Check Out Before You Hit the Road