Are you a Smart Cyclist?
- wear a helmet?
- wear bright-colored clothing while riding during the day and reflective clothing at night?
- have reflectors and/or flashing lights on your bicycle, helmet, and backpack?
- stay alert, focusing on the road rather than music, your phone or other distractions?
- go with the flow, riding WITH traffic, in the far right hand lane?
- watch for traffic?
- anticipate a car door opening if passing closely by parked cars?
- know the rules of the road, obeying traffic laws and using the correct hand signals?
- check your bike before riding, ensuring all parts are in working order?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, congratulations, you’re a smart cyclist. You practice safe habits that will better ensure your safety as well as those around you.
Are you a Mindful Motorist?
- wait until it is safe to pass a bicycle and refrain from tailgating?
- give cyclists the right of way when the situation calls for it?
- allow extra time for cyclists to go through intersections?
- recognize road hazards that may be dangerous to cyclists, giving them enough room to deal with adverse road conditions such as potholes, loose gravel, etc.?
- watch for cyclists when turning right or left?
- watch for cyclists when backing out of a driveway?
- watch for cyclists when opening your car door?
- know the rules of the road, including the fact that bicyclists have the same rules as motorists?
- know cyclists’ hand signals?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, congratulations, you’re a mindful motorist. You respect the rights of cyclists and take caution to prevent accidents and injuries.
Riding Safely: The Rules of the Road
by KidsHealth.org Bike Safety
Riding on the road? Time to review all the stuff you learned in elementary school — especially if you'll be riding in traffic:
- Always ride on the right side of the street in the same direction as the traffic. Never ride against traffic.
- Try to use bike lanes or designated bike routes whenever you can. In some places, it's illegal to ride on the sidewalk.
- Always stop and check for traffic in both directions when leaving your driveway, an alley, or a curb. Some people in cars just don't see cyclists.
- Watch traffic closely for turning cars or cars pulling out of driveways.
- Don't ride too closely to parked cars — doors can open suddenly!
- Stop at all stop signs and obey red lights just as cars do. Take special care at intersections. It's a good idea to walk your bike across busy intersections using the crosswalk and following traffic signals.
- If you're cycling with friends, ride single file.
- Never change direction or change lanes without first looking behind you and using the correct hand signals. That way everyone knows where you're going. Use your left arm for all hand signals. To indicate you're making a left turn, hold your arm straight out to the left; to indicate a right turn, bend your elbow, holding your arm up in an "L" shape; and before you stop, bend your elbow, pointing your arm downward in an upside down "L" shape.
- If you ride when it's dark, be sure to have reflectors on your bike and a battery-operated headlight.
- And finally, don't wear headphones while biking — you need to hear what's going on around you.