Safety tips for bicycles

May 28, 2008 10:36:18 AM PDT
Bicycles are the most vulnerable of all vehicles on the road. As a bicyclist riding in traffic or on the sidewalk, you should take extra precautions to protect yourself. Vehicles on the road, especially large trucks and buses, may not see you on your bike. Crossing the street or making a turn can be dangerous in traffic if others do not see you or your signals. The tips below can help keep you riding safely. WEAR YOUR HELMET
Before you get on your bike, put on a helmet. It is the best thing you can do to be safe. Bikes offer no protection in case of a crash, so you need to wear your protection. Wearing your helmet may save your life if you are hit by or run into a large truck or bus. Remember, riding into a truck is equivalent to hitting a steel wall. Your helmet is your life.

BIKERS BEWARE
Always be aware of the traffic around you. This is especially important when riding in traffic with large trucks and buses. Trucks and buses make wide right turns. Never sneak in between a truck or bus and the curb or you could get crushed. Never assume that all drivers see your hand signals or will yield for you. Assume you are invisible to other road users and ride defensively.

CHECK YOUR BRAKES
Always check your brakes so that you are prepared to stop. Also remember that a truck requires more space to stop than you do on your bike. Never assume that a truck will be able to stop quickly if you get in the way. You may have to get out of the way to save your own life.

RIDE WITH TRAFFIC
Avoiding a crash is the safest way to ride. Ride on the right side, with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic may cause you to miss traffic control devices, such as traffic signs and stop lights. Be especially careful when riding near or around trucks and buses. Use caution and pay attention to trucks. Watch for their signals because the driver may not see you or be able to stop soon enough in an emergency situation. However, you should to be prepared in case the truck's signals don't work or the driver doesn't use them. That is why you, as the bicyclist, need to watch out for yourself. For a bike rider, the safest bet is to always be aware of the traffic around you.

BEWARE OF THE NO-ZONE
Beware of riding too closely to a large truck. Large trucks have blind spots in the front, back and on the sides, which make it difficult for the driver to see around them. If you ride in these blind spots, truck drivers cannot see you and your chance for a crash are greatly increased.

For more information visit sharetheroad.org.


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