May is National Bike Safety Month. As summer approaches and gas prices continue to rise, we will see many more bikes on the road along with riders of all ages. Do you know the rules of the road when it comes to bicycles? Many of are surprised to know bicycles are considered vehicles in most states and must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists. Here are some things to know as you pedal.
- Bicycles are required to obey all traffic signs and signal when turning or passing
- Ride in the same direction as traffic, keeping to the right
- Always wear a helmet, which are 85% effective in protecting the head in the event of a crash
- Wear your helmet properly – level on your head and low on your forehead
- Wear bright colors during the day and reflective clothing in low-light
- Use lights and reflectors on your bicycle
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing a car’s path
- Ride on the roadway or shared pathways, rather than sidewalks
When driving, be aware of your surroundings and always be on the lookout for bicycles, which are small and more quiet than motorcycles. Also:
- Allow at least three feet when passing a bicyclist
- Reduce your speed and give more clearance in bad weather or on narrow roads
- Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space
- Yield to cyclists at intersections and be watchful when making turns
- Children on bicycles are often unpredictable, expect the unexpected.
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