10 Bicycle Safety Tips
Bicycling is a great way to get around, but if you aren’t safe on your bike, it can be dangerous. I have put together ten of the easiest things to do to keep yourself and other bikers safe. Here are 10 Bicycle Safety Tips to help keep cyclists and drivers safe on the road together:
Wear a helmet.
If you’re going to ride a bike, you need to wear a helmet. That’s it—there’s no way around this one. Helmets are the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself when riding a bicycle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a helmet reduces your risk of head injury by 85 percent and has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of head injury in bicycle crashes.
Be aware of the traffic around you.
You should always be aware of the traffic around you. Whether you’re riding on a rural road or in the heart of your city, there are many hazards that can put your safety at risk. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Cars and trucks — Drivers may fail to see you or may not expect a cyclist on their route. Also be aware of drivers who might try to pass too closely, which could result in a collision if they turn in front of you or drive over your bike’s handlebars.
- Pedestrians, other cyclists and animals — Be ready for other people coming out into the road suddenly; they may be crossing at crosswalks or jogging alongside roads where there is no sidewalk available. If possible, slow down as you approach them so they can get out of the way safely. Watch out for dogs running loose on rural roads; although dogs aren’t always aggressive towards cyclists (they might just want company), it’s better not to take any chances when there are no visible fences separating them from walking paths shared by both humans and pets alike!
Be predictable in your movements.
Being predictable in your movements is the simplest way to avoid collisions. Don’t cut off cars, weave in and out of traffic, ride on the sidewalk and against traffic. The more unpredictable you are, the harder it is for drivers to anticipate what you will do next.
- Ride with traffic: If there’s no bike lane or shoulder available then ride as far to the right as is practical and safe—but not so far that you interfere with other vehicles.
- Keep an eye on what’s around you: Check mirrors before changing lanes or turning at intersections; look over one shoulder before performing an over-the-shoulder maneuver; scan quickly but continuously while riding at night or in hazardous weather conditions (rain/fog/ice).
Use appropriate hand signals to signal turns and stops.
It’s important to use appropriate hand signals as you ride your bike. It keeps you safe and lets other drivers know what you’re doing.
- Use either the left arm or right arm extended outwards to signal a left turn.
- Use either the left hand or right hand extended outwards to signal a right turn.
- To signal a stop, just raise either the left hand or right hand up in front of your body for a few moments (the longer you hold it up, the more visible it is). You can also do this with both hands together if necessary (it’s often more effective than using one hand alone).
Stay alert at all times.
While riding your bicycle, it is important to stay alert to stay safe at all times. This means that you should not ride distracted, tired, impaired or while listening to music. It also means that you should be aware of what is going on around you—other people and vehicles on the road, as well as obstacles in the path ahead. Always look before crossing a street or intersection and make sure there aren’t any cars approaching from either direction before proceeding across the street. To that end here are 10 T
Ride at a safe speed.
One of the most important things to remember when riding a bike is to ride at a speed that is appropriate for the conditions. You should always try to ride at a safe speed, which means choosing your speed carefully based on what you see around you.
- If it’s foggy or dark outside, then it’s probably not safe to be riding fast because it will be hard to see pedestrians and other cars on the road.
- If there are many cars parked along the side of the road, then it’s probably best not to ride too fast because there may be pedestrians walking nearby who are harder to spot when they’re standing still in between parked cars than when they’re walking across an empty street.
- It’s also important not to go too slow if there are lots of riders behind you in traffic: When more people are behind you than ahead of them (or vice versa), drivers aren’t able to pass safely since those who want space around themselves won’t move over until everyone else has moved first—which means everyone has trouble moving at all!
Avoid distractions. Pay attention to the road
- Avoid distractions. That means no texting or talking on your cell phone, listening to music or anything else that takes your attention off the road and traffic conditions around you.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and make sure you can see obstacles in front of you so that they don’t come as a surprise.
- Use hand signals when turning in order to let others know what’s coming next. This helps them prepare for any changes in direction, speed or lane use that may occur during the trip.
Be cautious at intersections.
- Drivers often don’t see bicyclists. Be on the lookout for vehicles that may not see you coming and give them plenty of room to avoid a collision.
- Always make sure to check both ways before entering an intersection, even if there’s no traffic in sight! Also, take extra precautions when making left turns at intersections because drivers may not necessarily expect you to be turning up ahead. Even if it’s clear on your side, always make sure to check over your shoulder before riding across an intersection or turning left into one.
- When possible, use designated bike lanes where available or ride against traffic so that other drivers are looking at you (instead of the other way around). If this isn’t possible due to limited space in a particular area (like when we’re talking about sidewalks), try riding closer to the center line so cars have enough room to pass safely without cutting too close behind you; however be mindful that some smaller cars might not have room between their headlights and trunk lid which could cause damage if struck by those items instead of just swerving around them like most larger vehicles would do during such situations.*
Try to make eye contact with drivers
When cycling, it’s important to let drivers know you are there. You can do this by making eye contact with the driver or the side mirror of their vehicle. Drivers will see you and be more likely to be aware of your presence when driving defensively. If a driver doesn’t see you, they may pass too closely or even hit you if they make an unexpected move in their lane while passing another car or turning.
I’ve personally had this happen to me before! While riding on my bike one day, I was stopped at a red light when I noticed a driver looking at me in his rearview mirror as he waited for traffic ahead of him to stop so that he could turn left into my path (which was clear at that time). At first, I thought “Oh great! Someone is about to let me go ahead,” but then he made eye contact with me and quickly jerked his head back around toward the road in front of him before proceeding forward into my path without hesitation; luckily there were no cars coming up behind me so no one hit anyone else but unfortunately he did not acknowledge what happened as I rode away from him wondering why on earth would anyone do such a thing?!
Never ride against traffic
You should never ride against traffic since that puts you at risk of being hit by oncoming traffic. If you see a cyclist riding this way, they’re probably lost or just don’t understand the rules of the road. You can help by politely pointing them in the right direction or getting them to stop and talk to you so that they don’t put themselves and other cyclists in danger.
If you are riding with traffic but end up crossing paths with another rider who is biking against traffic and heading toward your direction, yield to let them pass first.
This safety tip can help keep people safe on bicycles!
There are so many reasons why bicycling can be a safe and healthy choice for getting around. It is an environmentally friendly form of transportation that requires no gas or oil to fuel it, so it doesn’t contribute to pollution in the air. If you want to stay healthy and get exercise at the same time, biking is an excellent opportunity for that as well! Biking can also help lower your stress levels because it will give you some time away from work or school where you can focus on something else other than what’s going on around you. Plus, biking lets people spend time outside without having to spend money on gas or car maintenance costs—and there’s nothing like riding in fresh air!
So start pedaling today: if we all take advantage of this great opportunity now then one day soon we’ll all be living in a world where everyone enjoys peace while being able to enjoy nature through their own personal transportation device too! I hope these tips help keep you safe on your bicycle. If you have any questions or comments about the article, feel free to leave them below.