There are a number of things you can do to prevent a crash, and protect your brain if a crash occurs. Before riding, remember to follow the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A printable version is available here.
Safe Riding Tips
- Wear a Bicycle Helmet.
- Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit.
- Check Your Equipment.
- See and Be Seen.
- Control the Bicycle.
- Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards.
- Use Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication.
- Avoid Riding at Night.
Bicycling on the Road
In all States, bicycles on the roadway are considered vehicles, and bicyclists are the drivers, with the same rights and responsibilities as motorists to follow the rules of the road. When riding, always:
- Go With the Traffic Flow.
- Obey All Traffic Laws.
- Yield to Traffic.
- Be Predictable.
- Stay Alert at All Times.
- Look Before Turning.
- Watch for Parked Cars.
Where to Ride Safely
While bicycles are allowed on many roads, riders may feel safer being separated from traffic. A lane or path is a safer choice than riding on a sidewalk. Riding on sidewalks puts you in a place where cars do not look for or expect to see moving traffic. Sidewalk riding puts you at risk for crashes at driveways and intersections.
- Use bike lanes or bike paths, if and where available
Watch and Learn
Even if you prefer traveling on four wheels, it’s a good idea to take advantage of a mini-refresher course on sharing the road with cyclists. Watch these videos from AAA
- Bike safety tips – Santa Cruz Bike to Work
- How to not get hit by cars
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Sharrows – Watch this video to learn how to properly use sharrows, a shared-lane street marking indicating that a bicyclist may use the full travel lane.