Sharing the street with automobiles, SUVs and vehicles is a truth of biking life. Legally, bicycles have all the identical rights and obligations that vehicles do, but too typically cyclists are seen because the second-class residents of the street.
Cyclists are anticipated to observe all the identical visitors legal guidelines as motorists, but should mingle with bigger, sooner automobiles (and the generally impatient individuals who steer them). Listed here are our street-smart pointers for changing into a wiser, safer bicycle owner.
Primary Guidelines of the Highway
Bike Security Fundamentals
Put on a helmet on each trip.
Put on shiny, extremely seen clothes, ideally with reflective tape or patches.
Obey the principles of the street. Cease at cease indicators and lights.
Trip with the movement of visitors, not in opposition to it.
Trip in management always. Proceed at a protected pace that allows you to react shortly to sudden circumstances.
Yield to pedestrians and different automobiles.
By no means trip in low-light or darkish situations with out entrance and rear bike lights and reflectors.
Hold a protected distance between your self and different riders or automobiles. What qualifies as protected? Sufficient house to mean you can react to one thing sudden. Normally, intention for 1 bike size (or extra) per every 5 miles per hour you are touring. Hold a minimum of 4 toes between you and a car.
Do not hug the curb too intently. Keep a cushty distance from the pavement edge.
Trip in single file. That is required by regulation in most states. (Observe: Some states enable cyclists to journey 2 abreast. Do that solely on less-traveled roads which might be freed from visitors. Using 3 abreast is often unlawful.)
Do not trip on sidewalks except no different protected choice exists. Motorists at intersections or when leaving or getting into driveways typically don’t see swift-moving cyclists touring on sidewalks.
Likewise, look ahead to automobiles popping out of alleys. They could not see you.
Do not move different cyclists on the precise.
When wanted, make noise—use a horn, a bell, whistle or simply yell.
In heavy, slow-moving visitors, it is typically safer to trip in the course of a visitors lane so that everybody can see you and automobiles will not attempt to squeeze round you.
On busy streets, do not swerve backwards and forwards round parked automobiles or different obstacles. Keep a straight course and be careful for opening automobile doorways.
Be able to brake. Hold your arms on or close to the brake levers so you may cease shortly.
Pedal strongly when going by way of intersections.
If 5 or extra automobiles are behind you, pull over and allow them to move.
Keep alert to modifications in your environment always.
Talk your intentions to drivers and different cyclists as a lot as doable. Use hand alerts everytime you flip or cease, however assume that these alerts won’t be understood by each driver. Watch our video on utilizing hand alerts.
Make pleasant eye contact with drivers. This helps to make sure your intentions are understood by motorists.
Semi-trucks have a blind spot once they flip; keep away from driving within the blind spot.
Be careful for issues that may add to (or trigger) issues between cyclists and vehicles, like shiny daylight, fatigue, darkness and sharp bends within the street.
Keep away from actions that may trigger accidents between bicycles, corresponding to following too intently, poor communication or lapses in focus.
Be particularly cautious at intersections. Many biking accidents happen right here.
Trip with confidence once you’re in visitors. Timid, wobbly riders make drivers nervous. Cyclists or teams of cyclists who trip in a respectful, confident method usually tend to be granted further room and respect in return.
Video: Hand Indicators for Cyclists
Biking on high-speed roads requires further warning. Keep away from it if you happen to can, however if you happen to should, observe these guidelines:
Keep as far proper as you may, utilizing the paved shoulder at any time when doable.
Verify behind your self regularly and hear for approaching automobiles. To make this simpler, put on a helmet-mounted or eyeglass-mounted mirror.
Brace your self for passing automobiles (particularly giant vehicles or different large automobiles) by gripping your handlebars firmly, reducing your physique to reduce wind resistance and transferring as far to the precise as doable.
Needless to say the wind from passing automobiles tends to “pull” cyclists ahead and towards the passing car.
Reminder: Simply since you’re on a motorcycle, it does not imply you can’t be cited for a visitors violation. Observe the principles of the street.
See all on REI.com