By law, bicycles on the roadway are vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s bicycle safety initiatives focus on encouraging safer choices on the part of the bicyclists and drivers to help reduce deaths and injuries on our roads.
Bike Helmets Every bike ride begins with putting on a helmet, and it’s equally important that you ensure a proper fit so your helmet can best protect you. Helmet size can vary between manufacturers; follow the steps to fit a helmet properly.
Avoiding/Decreasing Risk of Crashes Regardless of the reason for an incident, prevention is the name of the game. There are some things you can do to reduce the risk of a crash. Here are some bicycle safety facts:
Bicycle deaths occur most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., regardless of the season. Bicycle deaths occur most often in urban areas (75%) compared to rural areas (25%) in 2017. Bicycle deaths were 8 times higher for males than females in 2017. Alcohol was involved in 37% of all fatal bicycle crashes in 2017.
Ride responsibly, and remember that all states require bicyclists on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists. Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others (bright clothing). Wear reflective gear at night and fit your bicycle with lights and reflectors for high visibility.
Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bicycle. Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in the chain. Plan your route – choose less congested routes and slower speeds. The safest route may be away from traffic altogether, in a bike lane or on a bike path.
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