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Safety Tips for Bicycle Riders

Celebrate National Bike Month in May by reviewing easy ways to pedal with confidence.

bicyclist in helmet and bright clothes stays to the right in bike lane, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Mitch Tobias
Photo title
Safety Tips for Bicycle Riders
Photo caption
This bicyclist practices safe riding habits by wearing a helmet and bright clothes, and staying to the right.

A helmet and bright clothes are always in fashion when you travel on two wheels. Here are five more pointers for staying out of harm's way.

look ahead

Watch for inattentive drivers who might turn or change lanes suddenly, and beware of doors opening when riding past parked cars. "Never assume the driver sees you," advises AAA safety expert Rhonda Shah. Stay to the right when it's safe to do so and take the whole lane when it isn't.

be predictable

Motorists are used to driving with cars, and bicycles are vehicles too. Drivers will be better able to respond to you when you behave like a vehicle. Ride in the direction of traffic, signal your turns, and obey all stop signs and lights.

honor pedestrians

A bike moves quickly enough to seriously harm someone on foot. Slow down on multiuse paths whenever walkers could be near. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in some places.

accessorize wisely

Leave headphones and earbuds at home. The audio of approaching cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists is the safest sound track. If you ride at night, install front and rear lights to boost your visibility.

work together

Take a class or join a bicycle coalition to connect with others in the cycling community. You may choose to help promote protected lanes, paths, and intersections that let cyclists and drivers travel at their own speeds. The better we share the road, the safer we all are.

Find bike safety videos and tips at newsroom.AAA.com/bike.

This article was first published in Summer 2016. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.