To make the roads safe for bicyclists, both bikers and vehicle drivers must work together. No matter how safe a bicyclist behaves, a biker remains at risk if those who operate motor vehicles fail to follow the rules and best practices of the road.
A few tips on either side can prevent accidents, injuries and deaths.
Tips for bicyclists
The California Department of Motor Vehicles stresses that anyone on the roadways should respect other users, share the road and travel safely. Each year, over 100 bicyclists die in California and another 10,000 get hit on rides.
Best practices play a role in keeping bikers safe. These include the following actions for bikers:
- Maintain control of the bicycle
- Wear proper protective gear, especially a helmet
- Stay visible with lights and reflectors at night
- Practice riding in a safe lane position
- Obey all traffic laws
All bikers should understand the laws that apply to them as they take to the road system. These include stopping at all stop signs and signals and making the proper communications for turns and lane changes.
Tips for motor vehicle drivers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stresses that vehicle operators also play a key role in bicycle safety. It begins with drivers knowing that bicyclists have a legal right to the road. Therefore, drivers should keep a lookout for bikers at all times, especially in areas such as parking lots and intersections.
When passing a biker, drivers should make sure adequate room exists for making a pass. Automobiles should never pass too closely to a bicyclist and should only pass when it is safe to move over to a free lane. Both drivers and bikers are important to bike safety.