Bicycling seems to be growing in popularity. It is a great form of recreation, fitness exercise and, with higher fuel prices, even transportation. This week we will focus on bicycles and bicycle safety.
The increasing number of bicycle riders makes this a good time to review some safety tips – for drivers and riders. Motorists need to know that cyclists have the same rights on the road as they do. Likewise, cyclists have the same obligation to follow the traffic laws as motorists.
First, please wear a helmet whenever riding a bicycle. It is now the law in North Carolina that helmets are required for riders under 16 years old. Look for a safety label that the helmet is approved by ANSI or the Snell foundation.This safety certification is also required under the law.
More than half a million people are injured each year in bicycle mishaps and thousands are killed. Children 15 and younger account for one-third of the deaths and two thirds of the injuries. Three-fourths of all deaths are due to head injuries.
Cyclists have an obligation to make sure they can be seen. Selection of cycling attire can affect the distances that cyclists, or pedestrians, are visible. Amazingly that range can be from a low of around 200 feet to a high of over 2000 feet just by selection of clothing.
Most cyclists try hard to be considerate to motorists and follow the rules of the road. Experienced cyclists know that obeying the rules and looking out for their own safety also earns more respect from drivers.
Likewise, most motorists really do try to look out for bike riders. However, both drivers and cyclists need to be aware that they are sharing the road in order to look out for each other. Lastly, a friendly wave goes a long way toward keeping our roads safe.
We have several avid cyclists here on our Daggett Shuler Team. Please feel free to call us if you have questions. Be Safe!