Bike Safety

by WebWriter

Each year over 50,000 bicyclists are injured and 500 are killed in traffic related accidents. Learn safety so that you don't become one of the statistics.

Bike Related Injuries and Bike Safety Tips

In 2009, The U.S. Department and Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that there were 630 Bike related deaths and another 51,000 bike related injuries. The deaths accounted for 2% of all traffic related deaths that year. These numbers increase by 5% from the previous year. Many of these bike injuries and deaths may have been prevented if more people practiced bike safety. 

 

Bike Safety Tips

  • Always ride your bike with traffic and not against the traffic. 
  • Always wear a helmet. Make sure you were a properly fitted helmet, and one specifically designed for bike riding.  
  • Obey all traffic signals and signs. Bicyclists have the responsibilities as motorists.
  • Ride at least 3 feet away from parked cars.
  • Use hand signals so motorists know what you intend to do.
  • Don't wear headphones while riding your bike. You won't be able to hear a motorist honking or hear the sounds of sirens.
  • Maintain your bike and keep it in good repair. 
  • Check you bike's brakes and tires on a regular basis.
  • Don't stop your bike in blind spots. At stops, stop behind the vehicle instead of on the side of it. This makes you visible to all traffic.
  • Don't ride your bike on the sidewalks. When you come off the sidewalk and into the street you are invisible to motorists. 
  • Were something bright when you ride your bike so you are more visible to motorists.
  • Don't swerve in and out of parked cars or traffic.
  • Consider adding a mirror to your bike so that you can see the traffic approaching behind you. 
  • Ride you bike with the assumption that cars can't see you.
  • Try to avoid riding your bike on busy and narrow streets.

Bike Hand Signals

You should use your left hand for bike signals.

Turning Left - To signal traffic that you are going to make a left turn on your bike, hold your left arm, shoulder length, staright out to the left side of your body. .

Turning Right - To signal traffic that you are going to make a right turn on your bike, hold your left arm out and bend it at the elbow at a 90 degree angle, pointing your hand pointing towards the sky. 

Stopping - To signal traffic that you are going to stop bike, use the same signal as a right turn but point your hand down towards the ground instead of up towards the sky.   

Attention Motorists

  • Slow down when sharing the road with bicyclists.
  • Check your mirrors for cyclists before making your turns. If a bicyclist is visible, allow the bicyclist to pass before you make your turn.
  • Give bicyclist at least 3 feet of clearance when passing.
  • Use caution pulling out of driveways. Check for bicyclists in every directions before you pull out of a driveway. Use the same caution when driving through intersections.
  • When you park on the street, check your side mirrors for approaching bicyclist before opening your car door. 
  • Be alert and avoid distractions when driving. Don't eat, text, talk on the phone or put on your makeup when driving. 

Bike Month

Bike Celebrations in May

  • National Bike Month
  • Ride Your Bike To Work Day

Check to see what is going on in your local community for National Bike Month and Bike To Work Day.

Ideas for celebrating Bike Month

  • Donate an old or new bike to a non profit organization.
  • Ride your bike to work.
  • Join a cycling group.
  • Orangize a group of volunteers to clean up a local bike trail.
  • Take a bike safety course.
  • Make a $75 bike gift donation to Red Cross. The $75 provides a Red Cross volunteer with a bike, which is used to travel roads (that cars can’t) to educate families about protecting themselves against diseases and disasters. Visit redcross.org to donate a bike gift.

Bike Safety Products From Amazon

Planet Bike Blinky "3" 3-Led Rear Bicycle Light

Planet Bike BRT-3 Taillights includes batteries, seatpost and seatstay mounts. Features: Brighter LED's. Over 100 hours run time. Soft-touch flash/constant/off switch. ...

Planet Bike  / $14.99  $5.49

View on Amazon

Mirrycle Original Bicycle Mirror

Yes, it's still available. Once the most popular mirror in the world. Every week we get a call from someone in Nepal or Timbuktu or Colorado who loves this product.Only fits ...

Mirrycle  / $18.00  $11.99

View on Amazon

Mirrycle Incredibell Original Bicycle Bell (Black)

Pivoting dinger allows multiple setup positions, compact 33mm diameter.

Mirrycle  / $8.82  $6.79

View on Amazon

Sunlite 4 Piece Bicycle Reflector Set with Brackets

4 pc.Set w/ Brackets 2 wheel reflectors 1-front reflector 1-rear refector Brackets

Pyramid  / $7.59  $4.01

View on Amazon

Updated: 06/03/2011, WebWriter
 
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WebWriter on 06/05/2011

So many people don't use hand signals when riding a bike. I wish more people would. Thanks for stopping by tssfacts!

Guest on 06/04/2011

When I was learning to ride a bike one of the first things I had to learn was safety hand signals. I am amazed today at kids and adults who don't use these signals at all. Great lesson on bike safety.

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