Guidelines for Safe Road Riding
Bicycle safety on the road is your responsibility. As a bicyclist you have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users. Be predictable, be alert, and be responsible.
- Ride predictably, just as you would if you were operating a motor vehicle. Blending in with the normal traffic flow is the safest way to ride.
- Always ride on the right side of the roadway, with the flow of traffic. Riding on the left significantly increases your chances for being involved in a crash, especially at intersections, where motorists won’t expect you to be. RIDING ON THE RIGHT IS THE LAW.
- Obey all traffic signs, signals, and other traffic control devices.
- Always yield to overtaking traffic, and then signal before turning or changing lanes.
- Ride single file, unless the law and traffic conditions allow you to ride two abreast.
- Yield to other vehicles and pedestrians when traffic law requires you to do so.
- Be highly visible. Wear light, bright-colored clothing in daylight. At dusk and when it’s dark, be sure to use a bright white headlight and a red rear reflector. To make yourself even more visible at night, use additional reflectors on your bicycle and consider wearing reflective material on your body.
- Always look behind you before turning or changing lanes. If you use a mirror, remember to look back, too, so you don’t miss seeing an overtaking vehicle in your mirror. It is your job to see that the way is clear before turning or changing lanes.
- Maintain your bicycle regularly so it is safe and dependable.
- Carry all cargo on a rack, in bike bags or in panniers. A backpack may also be used for light loads but make sure the straps are pulled tight so the bag doesn’t dislodge while riding. DO NOT hang packages off the handlebars or carry them in your lap.
- Choose your route carefully, using a bike map if available. If possible, choose wider roads with less traffic and slower speeds. Always chose roads that are within your skill level (training, experience, competence).
- Give your full attention to traffic and the road surface. Beware of such road hazards as rocks, potholes, gravel, and dogs.
- WEAR A HELMET. All of the above safety will help to prevent a crash or fall. A helmet and gloves will protect you in the event that a crash or a fall cannot be avoided.