As the season changes to spring, one thing that will also change is more people enjoying the weather on a bike. There are many ways to stay safe while cycling. Basic fundamentals, hand signals, and obeying traffic signals are all important to know before starting your journey.
As written by AAA, the best guidelines for bicyclist are: be alert, be wary, and be seen. Similar to driving a car, be alert by scanning ahead, right, left and over your shoulder to look for possible obstacles. Be wary to other vehicles, pedestrians and others on the road at all times. Make sure to always be seen while on your bike. Using your horn, if you have one, hand signals, and a light at night is always a good idea. Just because you can see an oncoming car, it is not a given that they can also see you. Make sure to do all you can to be seen while on two wheels.
Knowing the four hand signals is also crucial while on the road. More likely than not, your bike does not have the same lights and features as a car. This makes it even more important that you use the correct hand signal when turning right or left, stopping or slowing down.
Cyclist have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, this means they must also act like one. While on your bike, the same traffic signals and road signs apply as those in a vehicle. You should always try and ride in the bike lane if possible. They should be clearly marked and drivers on the road are more likely to see you if you are in one. Be cautious while riding along side large vehicles such as trucks, busses or SUVs. They often times have large blind spots.
Checking your own equipment is also important. Always riding with a safety helmet is step one. Making sure your tires are properly inflated and that your brakes work correctly are also ways to stay safe while cycling this spring and summer.