Summer bicycle safety tips

Bicycling provides great exercise and fun. At the same time, it can expose riders to dangerous situations, especially in urban environments. Before you head out on the road, learn the following bicycle safety tips.

  • Inspect your bicycle. Look closely at all the parts on your bike to make sure they are secure and functioning properly. Check your brakes and inflate your tires properly.
  • Wear a helmet. Be sure it fits well and is fastened securely around your chin.
  • Make adjustments. Ensure that you have 1 to 2 inches between the top bar and your body. Adjust your seat so it’s level front to back.
  • Bee seen. Whether it’s day or night, wear fluorescent, neon or other bright colors to attract the attention of motorists.
  • Stay under control. Always keep at least one hand on your handlebars. Carry books or other items in a backpack or bicycle carrier.
  • Watch for hazards. Look out for puddles, gravel, leaves, broken glass, potholes, dogs or anything else that could cause a crash.
  • Ride during the day. Avoid riding at night if you can. If you have no choice, make sure you have reflectors on your bike and/or body.
  • Go with the flow. Ride in the same direction of traffic and never against it.
  • Obey traffic laws. Many states require bicycles to follow the same traffic laws as motor vehicles.
  • Yield to traffic when appropriate. It may be frustrating, but bicyclists never win in a collision with a car or truck.
  • Stay predictable. Ride in a straight path and signal before making turns.
  • Stay alert. Listen for horns, revving engines or any other warning signs.
  • Look before you turn. Whether you’re turning left or right, be aware of your surroundings and wait for adequate breaks in traffic.
  • Watch for parked cars. Stay away from cars parked alongside curbs to prevent collisions with opening doors.

When it comes to bicycle safety, attention is the critical factor. Never lose perspective on the potential risks related to collisions with motor vehicles. You should also be aware that police officers regularly write tickets to bicyclists who do not follow standard traffic laws.

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