Each year in California, over 100 bicyclists are killed and over 10,000 are injured in collisions. Bicylists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and it is important to pay attention to traffic signs and signals to reduce the risk of collisions while on the road. Read more at the California DMV.
Bicyclist Safety Tips from Safe Routes to School
- Wear Your Helmet - Protect your brain and wear a helmet. It's the law. Make sure your helmet fits snugly and is firmly buckled under your chin.
- Be Predictable - Do what drivers expect you to do. Use hand signals and yield to pedestrians. Ride single file to allow faster traffic to pass. Pass slower traffic on the left, ringing a bell. Ride in a straight line (don't swerve) three feet away from parked cars (door zone). Look and listen to what is around you.
- Be Visible - Wear bright-colored clothing so you are easier to see. Wear something reflective if riding at night and make sure your bike has working lights and reflectors.
- Follow the Rules - Ride on the right, in the direction of traffic. Obey all road signs and traffic signals as if you were a car. When you come to a driveway or intersection, you should STOP, then look LEFT, look RIGHT, then look LEFT again to make sure no cars are coming. Only proceed when you know it's safe. WALK your bike in a crosswalk.
- Riding on Sidewalks - Sidewalk laws are made by local governments, so check with your town to see if it's allowed. If it's permitted, make sure you ride safely and are careful of people walking. Decide as a family or group if you will ride on the street or on the sidewalk.
- Lock Your Bike - When you get to school, lock your bike to a bike rack on school grounds. Lock both your front wheel and the bike frame to the rack.
- Discuss Your Ride with Your Parents or Guardians.
- If you are not comfortable with a traffic situation, you can always get off your bike and walk with it on the sidewalk.
- Download a flyer with these tips to share with friends.