The summer is right around the corner, bringing with it outdoor activities and events. One of the more popular activities for adults and children alike is cycling. According to the 2002 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors which was sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approximately 27.3 percent of the population age 16 or older rode a bicycle at least once during the summer of 2002. However, while cycling should be encouraged for individuals of all ages and skills, it is important to remember these important bicycle safety tips provided by our colleagues at the Utah Department of Health. Remember, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.
· Obey all traffic laws, stop signs and signals, traffic lights, and other traffic controls. Bike riders must obey the same laws as motor vehicles. If you want the respect of motorists, you must show respect for traffic laws.
· Always wear a properly fitted helmet - it could save your life.
· Ride predictably in a straight line. Do not jump back and forth from the sidewalk and the roadway. Do not weave in and out of parked or stopped cars.
· Ride on the right side of the road, riding in the same direction as the flow of traffic.
· Be visible. Wear bright and reflective clothing if possible.
· When riding a bike at night, your bike should have a headlight, a rear red reflector/taillight, and side reflectors. These are required in most states, though regulations vary.
· Follow lane markings. Do not turn left from the right lane and do not ride straight through a right turn-only lane.
· Use hand signals to let other road users know what you are doing and where you are planning to go.
· Do not ride in a driver's blind spot. If a car is slowing down, do not pass it on the right side - the driver may be turning right and may not see you.
· Ride single file in traffic except when passing another bicyclist.
· Yield to pedestrians when riding on a sidewalk.
· Be respectful of other road users. Courtesy is contagious.
For more information, please check out one of the many informative websites available, such as the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, or the League of American Bicyclists.