Bike Safety Tips
- Wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet. Protect your brain. Maximize your safety by always wearing a helmet. It can save your life in the event of a collision or fall. Learn more on how to properly fit a helmet by reading "Steps to properly fit a bicycle helmet" below.
- Adjust your bicycle to fit. Stand over your bicycle. There should be one to two inches between you and the top tube (bar) if using a road bike and three to four inches if using a mountain bike. The seat should be level front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a slight bend at the knee when the leg is fully extended. The handlebar height should be at the same level as the seat.
- Check your equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
- See and be seen. Whether daytime or nighttime, dawn or dusk, or in the event of bad weather you need to be seen by others for everyone's safety. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Instead, wear neon, fluorescent or other bright colors when riding. Also, wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn't mean the driver can see you.
- Avoid riding at night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Place reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle (white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are required by law in many states), in addition to reflectors on your tires. Many bicycle-related crashes resulting in injury or death are associated with the bicyclist's behavior, including not wearing a helmet, riding into a street without stopping, turning into traffic that is coming from behind, running a stop sign and riding the wrong way in traffic.
- Control your bicycle. Ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
- Watch for and avoid road hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves or even animals to avoid a crash. When riding in a group the lead should yell out the hazard and point to the hazard to alert the riders.