The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Automobile Association (AAA) are working together this year in a joint campaign called “Roll Model,” to help promote bike safety awareness in May 2012, which is National Bicycle Safety Month.
As more and more Americans are looking to bicycles not only for fun in the summer months, or ways to get to school and back, but also as an alternate to driving a car in these days of high gas prices, it has never been more important to recognize that under state law, bicycles are considered vehicles on the road with the same rights and the same legal duties as the cars, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles with which the bikes share the roads.
This means that Bike Safety is very important, not just for smart bicycle riding but also because in many instances, it’s the law. Things like wearing the proper gear – including a bicycle helmet – are important and bike riders should be aware and follow these safety rules.
- Wear your helmet. Follow this simple rule and you reduce your risk of serious injury by as much as 85 percent.
- Keep your head up and look ahead, not at the ground. You need to see what is coming up so you have time to react and maneuver.
- One person per bike. Riding with unsecured passengers puts you at risk for injury to yourself and others.
- Ride in single file with space between bikes.
- Ride on the right side of the road, never against traffic. Otherwise, you are at risk for an accident – or a ticket.
- Plan ahead if you will ride in a group. Agree on the route ahead of time. Have a plan on what you will do if separated by traffic.
- If you will be riding in an unfamiliar area, check out local laws and rules first.
- Avoid busy roads and peak traffic times on your route.
- Before riding at night, ask someone to help you check your visibility to motorists.
- Maintain the bikes in your household. Keep chains clean and lubricated and periodically inspect brake pads.