May is recognized as National Bicycle Safety Month in the US. National Bike Month was established by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956. The League wishes to raise awareness of the benefits of bicycling, and of what cyclists and motorists can do to prevent bicycle accidents.
The spring and summer seasons usually mean more bicyclists will be on the roads, taking advantage of warmer, sunnier weather. National Bike to Work Week is May 16-20, culminating in Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20. Please consider the tips below for creating a safer, friendlier environment for bicyclists and motorists who share the road, all year long.
- Always wear a helmet when you are bicycling
- Ride on the road or in a designated bike path, not on the sidewalk
- Travel in the same direction as traffic
- Act like a vehicle – obey the same rules of the road
- Signal your intention to turn
- Wear bright, visible colors
- Don't drive distracted
- Don't make a right turn in front of a bicycle that is traveling in the same direction, unless the bicycle is at a safe distance behind your vehicle
- Check for bicycles before changing lanes
- Provide the cyclist with three feet of space when passing them
- Check for approaching bicycles before you swing open your door when parked in a parallel spot
Practicing bicycle awareness and safe biking are important every day of the year. But setting aside a designated awareness month is important because it gives us all the opportunity to revisit these safety precautions.