Bicycling is fun, healthy and a great family activity. But a bicycle isn’t a toy; it’s a vehicle! That’s the first thing to remember as Bicycle Safety Month concludes. Whether you ride or drive, you should know about bicycle safety, now more than ever.
Some bike crashes can cause serious injuries and most are related to the behavior of the bicyclist or the motorist. There are a number of things you can do to prevent a crash, and protect your brain if a crash occurs.
- Wear a Bicycle Helmet. Everyone – at every age – should wear bicycle helmets.
- Adjust Your Bicycle to Fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be 1 to 2 inches between the rider and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and 3 to 4 inches if using a mountain bike. The seat should be level front to back, and the height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be level with the seat.
- Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that the brakes work.
- See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, bad weather or at night, make yourself visible to others. Wear neon, fluorescent or other bright colors when riding, to be most easily seen. Wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
- Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Look for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash.
Please make sure you’re sharing the road with bicyclists. Be courteous – allow at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclists on the road, look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling from a parking space, and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right.