Bicycling Safety Tips

  • Always obey traffic signs and signals. They apply to bicyclists, just as they apply to motorists.
  • Always ride a bike properly sized and fitted to your body. Any bike shop can help with adjustments.
  • Always wear a helmet to protect your head. Adjust your helmet so that it fits snugly and sits forward on your head, protecting your forehead.
  • Before turning, use arm signals to let others know where you plan to go and look for a safe opening.
  • Bicyclists may ride on nearly all roadways, except most freeways and some bridges. Bicyclists should ride in a bike lane – a striped, signed shoulder – when one exists, except to make turns, to pass a slower vehicle or to avoid hazards. Where no bike lane exists, ride in the right shoulder of the right-most lane in your direction. If the lane is too narrow for a motorist to safely pass, take the full lane.
  • Do not pass on the right of motorists or other bicyclists – they may not see you. Pass on the left, after signaling and looking for a safe opening.
  • Make it a habit to scan the road behind you as you are riding. Practice in an empty parking lot to improve balance and confidence.
  • Ride on the right with the flow of traffic. Never ride against traffic.
  • Ride predictably and consistently. Do not make sudden turns or weave between cars.
  • Ride with both hands ready to brake and allow extra distance when stopping in the rain since brakes are less efficient when wet.
  • Watch out for cars turning into your path, cars pulling into or out of driveways and parked car doors opening in your path.
  • Watch out for road hazards like sewer grates, gravel, ice, or potholes.
  • When turning left choose one of two ways:
    1. Like a motorist: signal, look for a safe opening, move into the left turn lane and turn left.
    2. Like a pedestrian: ride straight to the far side crosswalk, get off your bike, wait for the pedestrian signal and walk your bike across when it is safe.
Remember to Use Your Hand Signals

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