Cycling the city: What you need to know to stay safe
You never forget how to ride a bike. And you should never forget these safety tips.
Riding a bike in the city can be dangerous. So, it’s important to keep safety in mind as you’re pedaling your way through urban streets.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 75% of the 783 cyclist fatalities in 2017 occurred in urban areas. Most fatalities, 63%, happened on the road and not in intersections or other areas, such as sidewalks or bicycle lanes.
But, wherever you ride, make bike safety a priority especially if you’re sharing the road with cars and trucks.
Safety on two wheels
When you’re riding a bike, it’s important to protect your head. All bicyclists, no matter their age, should wear a bicycle helmet every time they ride. According to the NHTSA, there is no better way to protect yourself than wearing a properly fit helmet.
Another way to make sure you stay safe is to stay in your lane and know the rules of the road. Bicycles are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles. Whether it’s yielding the right of way, obeying stop signs, or riding on the correct side of the street, everyone on and near the road stays safer if everyone obeys traffic signals and uses common sense. As a reminder, bicycles should ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
If you decide to cycle at night, you may need to take extra precautions, as most fatal accidents happen between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m., the NHTSA said. During the day, dress brightly in fluorescent colors to try and draw attention to yourself. At night, switch it up by wearing reflective gear and equip your bike with reflectors, a white front light and red rear lights.
If you follow these rules, you increase your chance to ride with confidence and safety. For more information on safe biking, visit the NHTSA’s website at nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists.SafeBee® Top Three
- Always wear a helmet
- Follow the rules of the road
- Dress to be seen and safe