Commuters encouraged to practice safe bicycling on roads

| September 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

Allied Barton Security Services
News Release

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Sharing the road with bicyclists is very important, especially when commuting on busy city streets, and bicycling has become popular as an environmentally friendly and cost effective transportation alternative, as well as a fun and healthy recreational activity.

Novice and experienced cyclists need to make safety a top priority. Commuters should follow these tips on bicycle safety:

 

  • Obey traffic laws. Is riding on the sidewalk safer than riding in the street? Cycling on the sidewalk means having to dodge pedestrians, pets, garbage cans, parking meters and signs. Bicycles are considered vehicles and cyclists should obey the same traffic laws as motorists. Travel on the right side of the road with traffic, and do not ride on the sidewalk. Obey all stop signs, traffic lights and lane markings. Use proper hand signals before making any lane changes or turns.
  • Choose a route that is safe. When considering a route, don’t think like a motorist, think like a cyclist. Ask if the Department of Transportation has a bike route map. Talk to a professional at a local bike shop or bike club to find out what routes are the safest. Additionally, many cities have implemented bike lanes specific for bicycle commuters. Be aware of other users on bike paths, such as folks with strollers or dogs. Announce that you are passing on the left, when overtaking someone on the bike path.
  • Perform regular maintenance and repair. Make sure all parts are in good repair, and check brakes, tires and gears often. Have a bike expert teach the basics so that you can continue routine maintenance. The most common repair a commuter will encounter is a flat tire, but also monitor brake wear. Many bicycle shops, community colleges, adult education programs or bicycle organizations offer workshops or classes in bike repair. Commuters should replace a chain every 2,000 miles; clean and oil the chain frequently, especially after riding in the rain; and replace it regularly. It is also important to carry small repair and first aid kits. For minor repairs, an everyday bike commuter should carry a patch kit, a spare inner tube, an air pump and a multitool. 
  • Park securely. More than half of the one million bikes stolen every year weren’t locked up. Find a solid object, like a street sign or post, and secure the bike onto it with at least one good lock to discourage theft. Make sure that the pole has something on top that will prevent the bike from being slid over it. The safest object to lock a bike onto is a bike rack. Ask a manager or supervisor for a storage area where they’ll let commuters leave bikes during the day.
  • Wear safety equipment. Safety equipment begins with the helmet. Wearing an approved helmet can reduce the risk of a head injury up to 85 percent in the event of an accident. 
  • Avoid riding at night. If commuting in the dark, riders will need effective lighting and reflective equipment. Most states require some kind of front illumination, and it is safer to have both a headlight and rear flashers. Additionally, clothing should be bright and have reflective strips. 

 

Category: Community, Safety

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