Share The Road

Did you know that May is Bicycle Safety Month? With an abundance of locations throughout our area to enjoy a bike ride, it is important to understand the rules to safely operate your bicycle.

According to the National Safety Council, the number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents increased 16% in 2020 and has increased 44% in the last 10 years, from 873 in 2011 to 1,260 in 2020. The peak for most bicycle-related injuries occurs during the months of May to October.

Here are some basic bicycle safety tips provided by the National Safety Council to help keep you safe:

Always inspect your bike prior to riding.

The seat should be adjusted to the proper height and locked in place

Make certain all parts are secure and working properly

Check that the tires are inflated properly

Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals, and spokes

A horn or bell, a rear-view mirror, and a bright headlight also are recommended

Make certain drivers can see you.

Wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright clothing

Whenever possible, ride during the day

If you must ride at night, wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights

Helmets appropriate for bicycling should be worn by everyone – adults and children – on every bike ride regardless of the length of the ride. Make certain the helmet is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Follow these guidelines from NHTSA to properly fit the helmet:

Adjust sizing pads or fit ring until the helmet is snug

Position the helmet level on your head, covering the forehead and not tipped backward or forward; this will be about one to two finger-widths above the eyebrow

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

Buckle and tighten the chin strap until it is snug; no more than one to two fingers should be able to fit between the chin and strap

When fitted, the helmet should not rock more than 1-inch side to side or front to back on your head

Watch Fitting a Bicycle Helmet

Stay safe by following these rules:

Get acquainted with traffic laws; bicyclists must follow the same rules as motorists

Ride single-file in the direction of traffic

Remain alert, keep your head up and look around; watch for opening car doors and other hazards

Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections

Never hitch onto cars

Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again, and over your shoulder

Bike riding resources:

Bike Riding Safety video (NHTSA)

How Bikeable is Your Community? (NHTSA)