Rules of the Road: The Ultimate Guide to Bike Safety
|August 8, 2014||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Going Green|
My daughter has been driving a bus for the college she attends for a few years now. I can’t even begin to tell you about the stories she shares about bike riders on campus who don’t know the rules of the road and risk being injured, or worse, every time they bike to class. They fail to remember that they are a part of traffic, not to mention more difficult to see.
Many college students rely on a bicycle as their main form of transportation. Some are banned from bringing a car to campus, and some can’t afford to own, insure and park a car. Some choose to bike because it is a quick and convenient way to get around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods. Students come to college from communities that may or may not have had good bicycle safety education programs. Many student bicyclists are returning to cycling after a few years of driving the family car.
At minimum, bicyclists should know to:
- Ride on the right side of the road.
- Ride with lights at night.
- Wear a helmet.
- Ride predictably.
Drivers, however, also have a responsibility to help keep bicyclists safe:
- Acknowledge that cyclists have the right to ride on the road.
- Give room and slow down when passing cyclists.
- Check for cyclists before opening doors.
- Check for bikes before turning left or right or backing up.
Bike use is on the rise — the number of trips made by bicycle more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009 and many major cities are responding with bike-friendly communities. Hopping on a two-wheeler is great for you, the environment, and your wallet. But before you strap on your helmet, make sure you know the rules of the road, the proper gear to stay safe, and how to navigate the bike lane stress free.
Note from Nest Full of New: While it may not be a law for adults to wear a bike helmet, I always recommend wearing one anyway. It’s just too easy to fall while riding a bike and you gotta protect your coconut.
Just do it!