As the weather warms up in Pennsylvania, more people will be riding bicycles for recreation, exercise, or commuting. Bicycle safety is a big issue in the spring and summer, which is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared May to be National Bike Safety Month.
Both bicyclists and drivers are encouraged to take the time this May to review safety tips in order to reduce the risk of collisions.
Bicyclists should heed the following safety precautions:
- Inspect your bicycle before riding
- Always wear a helmet
- Respect and follow all the rules of the road
- Use hand and arm signals, and make eye contact with drivers before making a turn
- Wear the clothing designed to encourage visibility and put reflectors on your bicycle so that drivers will be able to see you better
Drivers should pay attention to the following safety tips:
- Stay out of bicycle lanes and respect the rights of bicyclists on the road
- Leave at least four feet between your car and a bike
- Check carefully for bicycle riders before trying to pass or turn
- Yield the right-of-way when it is a bicycle rider’s turn to go
- Avoid operating your vehicle while distracted or impaired
These tips should be followed not just during bike safety month but throughout the year. A 2012 survey of national attitudes on bicycle riding showed that many people ride regularly during the summers and that some have had bad experiences because of drivers.
The Damage of a Bicycle Accident
Contusions are the most prominent type of injury in a bicycle accident. In many cases, this is the result of a fall from a motor vehicle accident, which is often about 90% of the time.
Both bicycle riders and drivers have a duty to be aware of bicycle safety, especially when cyclists start making an appearance in higher numbers during the first warm days of the year. Bicyclists and motorists can share the road safely by maintaining mutual respect for each other and following the rules of the road.x