Ride around town safely during National Bicycle Safety Month with these tips.
May brings warm weather and beautiful sunshine we can all appreciate. It’s also National Bicycle Safety Month – a time to enjoy bicycling with safety in mind! This leisure activity can be fun for all ages and will allow you to appreciate all nature has to offer during this time of year. Before you step on the pedals, review these essential bicycle safety tips:
- Always wear a helmet
- Stay alert
- Avoid peak traffic times or busy streets
- Learn basic hand signals
- Make yourself easily visible
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about each of these tips.
Always wear a helmet
For your safety, wear a helmet every time you get on your bike, even for short rides. However, not just any helmet will do – you want one that fits snugly on your head. Here are a few guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on proper helmet usage:
- Position the helmet level on your head, covering the forehead and not tipped backward or forward
- Adjust the side straps, so they form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of your ears
- Center the buckle on the chin strap under your chin
Pay attention to vehicles, pedestrians, and others on the road throughout your ride. Avoid listening to music or other distracting activities that can limit your ability to stay alert. You need to be able to see what is in front of you at all times, so you have time to react and maneuver around any obstacles in your path.
Avoid peak traffic times or busy streets
The timing of your bike ride matters too. If you are riding on the road, try to avoid high-traffic areas or peak traffic times. Choosing routes with less traffic and slower speeds can help you stay safe while you’re enjoying your ride. As an alternative, you may want to consider using a designated bike lane or bike path away from cars and other vehicles.
Learn basic hand signals
Many bicyclists use a series of basic hand signals to let drivers in their vicinity know when they are stopping or turning. If you plan on riding your bike frequently this spring, it may be useful to refer to this NHTSA resource that covers standard signaling you can expect to find on the road.
Make yourself easily visible
Wear equipment or clothing that will help you be more visible to others. Bright shirts, reflective gear, and reflective lights for your bike can help drivers and other pedestrians see you from a distance. A bell or horn can also help you announce yourself when approaching other walkers or bikers from behind.
These bicycle safety tips are essential to follow for your next ride. As always, remember to check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
For more health and wellness tips and advice, keep reading our blog.