Bicycle Safety Tips

The bicycle is a simple two-wheeled machine that uses momentum, force, and friction to get riders from Point A to Point B. It’s also a fun, healthy, and effective way to stay in shape or train for a race. However, a bike can be dangerous if the rider doesn’t follow basic safety rules.

Whether you’re riding on the road, on a trail, or in your driveway, following these bicycle tips will keep you safe and help you enjoy your ride.

Obey the Law

Always obey traffic laws, even if they’re not specifically written for bikes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds cyclists that they’re considered vehicles and must abide by the same rules as cars and trucks. This includes wearing a helmet, signaling turns, riding in the same direction as traffic, and using hand signals when passing cars (which is required by law in many states).

Ride Single File

When riding on a street, it’s best to ride single file so that drivers can see you and pass you safely. Staying single file on a sidewalk also prevents pedestrians from being crowded out by a group of cyclists.

Avoid Distractions

It’s important to be fully engaged when riding a bike, so you can respond quickly and safely if something unexpected happens. Avoid chatting with other riders, listening to music, or talking on the phone while you’re on your bike. It only takes a moment to lose your balance and fall off, which could be dangerous or even deadly.

Don’t Wear Headphones

When you’re riding on the street, skip the headphones. Wearing headphones can limit your ability to hear traffic, and it’s a major distraction that can cause you to lose control of your bike. It’s also illegal in most states to ride a bike while wearing headphones.

Keep Your Eyes Up & Ahead of You

While you’re riding, always look ahead for hazards like potholes, cracks, wet leaves, sewer grates, railroad tracks and other dangers that may surprise you. It’s also important to maintain good visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing and using reflective materials for nighttime riding.

Be Prepared for Parked Cars

Drivers can open their doors in front of you when they’re exiting a driveway or alley, so be sure to leave enough space between you and parked cars (3 feet is generally recommended).

Riding a bike might seem like an easy activity, but there’s actually quite a lot that goes into the process. From the physics of the bicycle itself to the positioning of your hands on the handlebars, there are many factors that affect how well you ride. If you’re new to cycling or want to improve your skills, consider taking a cycling class with an experienced instructor. They can teach you basic techniques and help you become a more confident cyclist. You can also find plenty of free resources online to learn more about biking basics.