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National Bike Month: Rules Cyclists Must Follow

May is National Bike Month! This month is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and is celebrated all over the country. The initiative of the month is to appreciate bicyclists and encourage others to ride bikes. Biking is a great way to get exercise, reduce commuting costs, and preserve the environment. With that said, if you are using a bicycle on roadways, especially in heavy traffic, you must educate yourself on the rules and regulations prior to riding. The following rules are imperative to follow in order to keep yourself safe while riding a bike.

Ride in the same direction as the flow of traffic.

  • Some riders mistakenly think they will be safer if they ride against traffic, allowing drivers to see them coming. However, this is extremely dangerous and a leading cause of bike-related accidents. Riding in the same direction as the flow of traffic allows you to be a more predictable part of traffic flow and gives you more reaction time.

Don’t ride on the sidewalk.

  • When riding a bike on the sidewalk, it can create a dangerous situation for pedestrians and makes you less visible to vehicles that are turning. Accidents are more likely to occur when riding on the sidewalk rather than the road.

Give yourself space.

  • If you are riding on a road without a bike lane, ride on the shoulder of the road to allow cars to pass freely and allowing yourself buffer room. Avoid cramming yourself onto the edge of the road to give yourself room to maneuver.

Always use hand signals.

  • When making any sort of turn while on a bike, make sure you signal by using hand signals.  In fact, most states require cyclists to do so. Educate yourself on the proper signals to help you avoid unnecessary collisions.

Obey all traffic signals and signs.

  • Like stated earlier, you are responsible to follow the same rules as motorists while operating a bike on roadways. Rolling through stop signs, proceeding through a red light, or entering a crosswalk when pedestrians are present are all traffic violations for cyclists, too. It is imperative for your safety to obey all signs and signals.

If you are considering riding a bike in the future, make sure you know the rules and regulations prior to riding. It will not only keep yourself safe but also others on the road.

With that said, even if you are following all the rules and regulations, your safety may still be at risk due to other negligent drivers on the road. If you sustained an injury from a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. You have the right to be safe while cycling, and when this is compromised, the responsible party needs to be held accountable. The bicycle accident attorneys at Spiros Law will fight diligently on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (217) 328-2828 to speak about your unique situation today.