Principles of Bicycle Safety
The best preparation for safe bicycle riding is proper training.
- Common resources include an experienced rider, parent, or community program.
- Often, however, initial training involves simple instruction from parents on balance and pedaling.
- Proper supervision of younger riders is a prerequisite. In fact, it is recommended that younger children ride only in enclosed areas.
Early investment in safety equipment such as protective clothing and a helmet can prevent a significant number of injuries.
- Helmets - Extremely important
- Reflective clothing for nighttime or low-visibility conditions
- Bicycle safety equipment (reflectors on frame and wheels)
- Proper bicycle selection
- Bicycle maintenance
Bicycling safety guidelines
Understanding and following these guidelines can further reduce the risk of a bicycle accident.
- Use a bicycle only in a way that is appropriate for the age of the rider.
- Be aware of the need for experience and skill before bicycling on public roads.
- All bicyclists should be educated about the rules of the road.
- Be aware of the understanding among bicyclists and motorists about sharing the road.
- Promote and ensure safe motorist and bicyclist practices (proper speed, yielding right-of-way, not driving while drinking).
- Teach increased awareness of surroundings. (Beware of opening car doors, sewer grating, debris on roads, uneven surfaces, poorly lit areas.)
- Obey traffic rules.
- Cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists. Use correct hand signals before turning.
- Because we are all sharing the same road, obeying the rules of the road will allow for an enjoyable and safe ride for both bicyclists and motorists.
- Ride in single file with traffic, not against it.
- Avoid major roads and sidewalks.
- Announce your presence ("On your left") on bike and walking trails as you come up behind and pass pedestrians and other riders.
- Enforcement and legislation can increase bicycle safety.
- Mandating use of protective devices (helmets, reflectors)
- Bicycle-friendly community and community planning, for example establishing bicycle lanes and bike trails or rails-to-trails