Bicycle Safety Tips–Part 2
Continuing our discussion of bicycle safety for you and your family…the Indiana State Police reminds bicyclists that they have to take the initiative to make themselves visible to motorists, especially after dark. Never assume that motorists sharing the road with you can see you. According to the ISP, sufficient visibility to avoid traffic accidents includes the following considerations:
wear bright colored clothing, particularly with fluorescent colors
at night, wear light colored clothing with reflective patches and wristbands
bikes should have reflectors on the front and rear, and on pedals and wheels
use bright, white headlight(s), preferably with a range of 500 feet
Bicyclists are smaller and slower than vehicles, obviously, so they need to be even more alert than drivers in terms of roadway safety. You should have an awareness of passing pedestrians, too (pedestrians have the right of way).
In sharing the road with cars and people safely, here are some additional thoughts:
ride far enough away from the curb to avoid running into parked cars
always check behind you when changing lanes
watch out for litter, potholes, gravel, storm grates, or other hazards
securely attach any items to your bike or carry them in a backpack
use bells or horns to alert pedestrians and other vehicles
Before getting out on the road, the ISP recommends that you engage in due diligence: simply put, learn to ride your bike in a safe and controlled manner first. Makes good sense, doesn’t it? Among other things, controlling your bike means that you can look behind you safely and as well as being able to ride with one hand while signaling. No one wants to spend their summer vacation in the hospital recuperating from an avoidable road accident.