Time To Brush Up On Bicycle Safety

bicycle safety With the winter fading away and the warm sunshine finally coming back out again,  thoughts are turning back to bicycles. After an entire winter cooped up in the house, its all too tempting for a child or adult rider to forget all safety rules and throw caution to the wind while riding a bike, but you can protect your child or yourself by taking a few minutes out to brush up on bicycle safety.

May is Bicycle Safety Month, and with it comes the realization that just because you’re on a bicycle, it doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in traffic crashes. Statistics from 2011 show how there were 48,000 bicyclists injured and 677 killed in motor vehicle crashes, and alcohol was a factor for either the cyclist or the driver in 37% of fatal crashes.

The key to bicycle safety is to realize that, even if you’re an adult, a bicycle is not a toy. Bikes are actually considered vehicles, and as such you’ll need to abide by traffic safety rules when you’re on one. Here are a few bicycle safety tips to follow when you or your children are riding a bike:

  • Wear a helmet – In the event of a crash, a bicycle helmet could save your life. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a guide that shows you how a bicycle helmet should properly fit.
  • Be visible – When riding a bike, always wear something neon or bright so you are easily visible on the road. If you do not have brightly colored clothing, use reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Be on the lookout for potential hazards – Road hazards such as potholes, puddles, leaves, and dogs can all cause a crash. Be on the lookout for obstacles while riding a bicycle.
  • Never ride at night – The likelihood of being in a traffic crash increases at night when visibility is poor. If you ride at night make sure you have reflectors on your bike and use a light.

Riding a bike is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but be sure to stay safe while riding by following these tips.