Don’t Let Them Ride Without A Helmet


Don't let them ride without a helmet.When I was a kid we didn’t have helmets for bicyclists.  Thank goodness times have changed and people are wising up.  Unfortunately, bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles are still resulting in death and injuries in the United States.  That’s why it’s critical to practice basic bike and driver safety rules like the ones listed below.


Biking isn' just for kids anymore.

Even wearing bright clothes, bikers can blend into the background.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “In 2009, 630 bicyclists were killed and an additional 51,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.”    Though this number of deaths amounted to a reduction from previous years, the statistic for injuries took a big jump.


Oddly, children aren’t the only ones at risk.  In fact, the NHTS also reports that, “Pedalcyclists ages 25 to 64 have made up an increasing proportion of all pedalcyclist deaths since 2000. The proportion of pedalcylist fatalities among those ages 25 to 64 was 1.2 times higher in 2009 as in 2000 (64% and 52%, respectively).”


As a motorist, I’m often shocked at the complete disregard for vehicle traffic laws I’ve witnessed by bicyclists.  Yet equally disturbing are all those drivers who don’t make room or slow down as they pass bikes on busy roads.  Irregardless of your interests or perspective it makes sense to promote basic bike and driver safety.


Top Bike Safety Tips


(1) Stay alert to traffic.  Those cars zooming past may not even see you.


Watch that bus!

By law, bikers are required to stop for buses and signs too.

(2) Obey all traffic laws, including stopping at stop signs.


(3) Ride on the right side of the road—as far to the right as practical.


(4) Signal your intentions and look before turning.


(5) Avoid weaving in the lane and sudden stops or starts—meaning drive in a predictable manner.


(6) Ride single file on busy streets and no more than two abreast otherwise.


(7) Always wear a helmet—even on short trips or in hot weather.


(8 ) Wear bright clothing, and if riding during dusk or dark, make sure to have reflective gear and lighting so cars can see you.


(9) Keep your bike in good repair. Check brakes and tire pressure frequently.



Top Driver Safety Tips


Bike alert!

Just like a car, bikers should ride on the "right" side of the road.

(1) Be more aware of bicyclists.


(2) Check your blind spot before turning right as bicyclists can slip up past you, especially in heavy traffic or when slowing at intersections or driveways.


(3) Do not assume bicycle drivers will follow traffic laws. Though technically illegal, cyclists often slow instead of stop to maintain their forward momentum.


(4) Slow down to pass bicyclists, and do not pass too close.  In forcing  a bike to move right they can end up crashing into the curb.  Wait for a good, clear stretch of road to pass a bicyclist—one with no oncoming traffic.


(5) Give bicyclists lots of room on the road.  Not every swerve they make is do to poor coordination.  Bicyclists have to avoid sharp rocks, glass and other debris to protect their tires.


2 bikers climbing a hill.

Bikers should never ride more than two abreast.

(6) Follow the law regarding cell phone use. Actually, any activity which distracts you from the business of the road puts others at risk. This is true whether you’re a pedestrian, bicyclist or driving a car.  Pull over to take calls or return texts.


(7) Stop and assist any bicyclist in need.  Far too often, a biker is hit by a car and the driver takes off.  Not only are there severe penalties for hit and run drivers, but any injuries sustained in the accident may get much worse without immediate medical attention.


Patience Please


Whether you’re a biker, a driver, or both, a little patience and respect for your counterpart will go a long way toward reducing injuries and fatalities.


If you enjoyed this post, you may want to see:

Teach Your Kids To Save


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