Bicycle Safety

Riding a bicycle is a great recreational activity for all ages but the first step is knowing and practicing safe habits when sharing the road. By showing common courtesy and respect on the road, we can ensure the two-way street is a safe street for all.

A bicycle is considered a vehicle just like a car and must follow the rules of the road. However, just as occupants of a car buckle their seat belts prior to starting a trip, bicyclists need to buckle their helmets before starting a ride. Unfortunately, too many bicyclists are injured each year, especially children ages 5-14. Wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85-88 percent and is the first step towards safe biking.

Bicycle Helmets: Buckle Up Every Ride!

How to Fit a Helmet
  1. Measure Your Head: Measure your head as the manufacturer suggests to ensure it’s the proper size.
  2. Test the Fit with the 3 v 1 rule
    • Take three fingers and place them horizontally at the top of your eyebrows. The front of the helmet should rest where the top finger is located on your forehead.
    • Take two fingers and make a “V.” Place the base of the V at the bottom of your earlobe. This is where the straps should lay on each side of the face.
    • Take one finger (index) and place it between your chin and the buckled chin strap. If you cannot fit a finger, the strap is too tight. If you can place many fingers between your chin and the strap, it’s too loose.
  3. Check it! Rock your head gently side to side and back and forth. There should not be movement from the helmet.

A properly fitted bicycle helmet should be comfortable, snug and always buckled.

Helmet Care
  1. Replace a helmet that has become too small.
  2. Replace a helmet that has sustained damage … one crash, helmet in the trash!

Sharing the Road - How We All Can Make a Difference
Each year, there are more than a half-million collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles in the United States. Many of these incidents are the result of motorists failing to properly yield to bicyclists. The following safety tips can make a difference:

For Motorists:
  1. Allow at least 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist.
  2. Increase awareness of bicyclists when making turns and remember to look for bicyclists when traveling in a straight line.
  3. Check for bicyclists along the edge of the traffic lane before opening car doors so you do not cause a collision when exiting your vehicle.
  4. Be patient.
  5. Pay special attention to blind spots. Due to their size and the location of bike lanes, bikes can often get lost in a car’s blind spot, so double check before changing lanes, making right-hand turns or before opening your car door on the traffic side when parked.
  6. Be attentive when traveling on side streets and in neighborhoods. Children are especially at risk in residential areas. Follow the speed limit, avoid driver distraction and always be aware of your surroundings. It is particularly important to be cautious when backing out of a driveway and onto the street.
For Bicyclists:
  1. Always follow the rules of the road including the use of hand signals for turning left, right, and stopping.
  2. Wear a helmet.
  3. Ride in a predictable manner.
  4. When sharing the road, ride on the right side of the road and obey traffic signs and signals.
  5. When available, use designated bike lanes and paths.
  6. Always be aware of turning cars and parked vehicles.
  7. Increase visibility by wearing bright colors and adding white lights to the front of the bike and blinking red lights to the back.
  8. Keep your bicycle maintained for safety just as you would your vehicle.
  9. Find the bike that fits your needs (size and type).
  10. Always carry identification.

View these informative videos on bicycle safety on AAA's official Youtube site: