Bike Safety – A Two-Way Street for both Drivers and Cyclists

Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: June 5, 2012

June kicks bicycling into high gear and safety awareness is critical for both vehicle drivers and cyclists. Whether you’re on two wheels or four, in a split-second an accident can change lives forever. Most of your employees drive, some of them may bike, but it is vital for BOTH DRIVERS AND CYCLISTS to stay aware of the respective rules and responsibilities.

FOR DRIVERS:

DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY.
The size of your vehicle vs. a bike is a mismatch. Respect the cyclist’s vulnerability, and please watch for the young cyclists.

NEVER FORGET THE 4-FEET RULE.
It’s a law in most states that drivers must give cyclists AT LEAST 4 feet of clearance. This includes your side mirrors, which many may forget about when driving a larger vehicle.

DON’T SPEED UP TO PASS OR BLOW YOUR HORN.
Both can unnerve any cyclist. Pass all cyclists slowly and smoothly. Be patient.

AT ALL TURNS, USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL AND YIELD TO CYCLISTS.
Intersections are where many car-bicycle collisions occur. Use your turn signals early and always. Watch for cyclists’ hand signals. Before you make any right turn, look for cyclists in back of you. For left turns, look for oncoming cyclists. And always yield to the cyclist. Remember: you are protected…he or she is not.

FOR CYCLISTS:
OBEY ALL RULES OF THE ROAD.
When you are bicycling on the road, you HAVE to obey all the rules of the road. Ride in the same direction as traffic. Stop at stop signs. Stop at traffic lights. (If ever on a sidewalk, you must obey all pedestrian rules.) Don’t weave in and out of traffic.

WEAR A PROPER HELMET.
Your helmet must comply with U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission standards. It must fit squarely on top of your head, covering your forehead. The chin strap must be snug so the helmet cannot move from side to side.

USE HAND SIGNALS AND ANTICIPATE DRIVERS’ INTENTS.
Always alert motorists to your directional intentions with obvious hand signals. Don’t count on drivers using turn signals…sometimes they simply don’t. Remember: seven out of 10 accidents occur at intersections and driveways.

MAKE YOURSELF MORE VISIBLE.
Drivers may not see smaller vehicles like bikes and motorcycles. MAKE yourself seen by wearing bright colors or reflective gear, even in daylight.

CHOOSE ROUTES WISELY.
Map routes on wider, less-traveled roads or those with dedicated bike lanes. Make as few left turns as possible.
For more information, please contact us.

Sources: edmunds.com; wblr.com; Bob Blaisdell, Director of Community Programs,Valley Preferred Cycling Center

Disclaimer: The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of a physician. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to a physician.