Bicycling Safety and Etiquette

Bicycling Safety and Etiquette

Posted by Korman Res | Bicycling Safety and Etiquette
Philadelphia Bike Share


Now that the warm weather and longer days are upon us, you’ve probably noticed an increase in bicyclists on the road.  While cycling is an excellent form of exercise, it’s important for both bicyclists and motorists to understand the road rules and etiquette that go along with it.  The following are some tips for both bicyclists and motorist to remember when sharing the road.

For Bicyclists: 

  1. Obey all traffic signs, signals and lane markings, just as if you are driving a vehicle.
  2. Only make turns from the proper lanes.
  3. Respect others’ right-of-way.
  4. Never ride against traffic.  It is not only dangerous, it’s also against the law.  Ride with traffic, as far over to the right as is safely possible.
  5. If riding with another bicyclist, ride in single file.  Do not block the road by riding side-by-side.
  6. Use proper hand signals for turning and stopping.  Not sure what they are? http://nymblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/hand-signals1.gif
  7. Never ride in between parked cars. 
  8. A left turn can be made two ways:  either use your hand signal and move to the left turn lane, or move to the crosswalk and walk your bike across when you have the green light.
  9. Never pass a vehicle on the right.
  10. Continually scan the road for hazards.  Avoid riding over parallel sewer grates, potholes, oily pavement and gravel.  Standing on your pedals will give you better control if you must ride over an unavoidable hazard.
  11. Use both hands to brake.  Braking one-handed may not give you enough time to stop.  Also remember that brakes don’t work as well when they are wet, so give yourself extra time to stop in the rain or if the road surface is wet.
  12. Always make sure motorists can see you – pay special attention at intersections and when making turns. 
  13. When riding at night, always use a headlight and taillight, and wear light-colored or reflective clothing.
  14. Make sure your bicycle is in proper working condition.  Check your brakes and make sure the tires are inflated properly every time you ride.
  15. Most importantly….WEAR A HELMET!  It can save your life.


For Motorists:

  1. Always be aware of bicyclists on the road and give them adequate space.
  2. Always practice patience and courtesy.
  3. Never pass a bicyclist too closely.  Wait until you are sure you have enough room to safely pass.
  4. Do not honk at, or do anything to startle a bicyclist.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the hand signals used by bicyclists (see #6 above).
  6. When turning, look for bicyclists before making the turn.
  7. When parallel parking, never open a car door on the traffic side of your vehicle without first making sure there are no bicyclists (or vehicles) that could be struck by the open door.
  8. Be aware that bicyclists may suddenly swerve into the lane of traffic in order to avoid road hazards. 
  9. Understand that bicyclists have as much right to the road as you do, and that they must also obey the same laws, traffic signs and signals.
  10. Be prepared for bicyclists to move into the left lane of traffic in order to turn left, or to pass a vehicle or another bicycle.
  11. Remember that any accident with a bicyclist could cause devastating injury, so always use caution when sharing the road.


Website Referenced: http://www.bicyclela.org/Safety.htm

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