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Rules of the road: How to stay safe while peddling this summer

 
Summer is here, so you know what that means – everyone’s breaking those dusty bikes out of the shed. While biking can be an awesome summer workout, it can also be extremely dangerous. We’ve got some tips on how to make sure you stay safe while you’re out on the road. Be sure to follow these rules and practice good habits while you’re riding.

 

Use the proper gear

It might seem silly that we’re telling you to wear a helmet, but many people don’t when they go biking! You might think you look goofy, but protect yourself and wear one. It doesn’t hurt to have a horn or reflectors on your bike either. These will decrease your risk of getting hurt by other drivers on the road.

 

Bike on the road

Did you know that only bikers under 12 are legally allowed to ride on sidewalks? Strange, right? Well even though bikes don’t have a motor, they’re still considered road vehicles. So be sure you’re biking on the road in the same direction as traffic.

 

Obey traffic signs

Since bikes are considered road vehicles, be sure to obey all traffic signs when you’re on the road. Stop at red lights and stop sings, and make sure you signal to drivers if you are turning. Use your left arm for all signals, while keeping your right hand on the handlebars to keep stable.

 

Signals:

Turning left: Extend left arm out, parallel to the ground.

Turning right: Form an “L” shape with your left arm. Your elbow should be bent, and your left hand should be pointing up.

Slowing down: Make an “L” with your left arm, opposite of the right hand turn. Your left hand should be pointing down.

 

Don’t use your phone

Just like when you’re driving a car, you shouldn’t be on talking on your phone, texting, tweeting or looking at Instagram while you’re biking. And although working out can sometimes be a drag if you’re not listening to some great jams, try to refrain from wearing headphones. You won’t be able to hear approaching cars.

 

Stay visible

Be sure to wear bright colors when you’re riding during the day so that you are easily visible by approaching cars. If you decide to go for a night ride, wear reflective clothing so that cars will see you when their shine on you. You should even carry a mirror to check out the traffic behind you. They might not be able to see you, so at least you can see them.
 
 

BY KATIE TAKACS ON 6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM

POSTED IN , ,

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