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Bicycle Safety Tips For National Bicycle Awareness Month

It is National Awareness Bicycle Month, so in honor we’ve put together some great tips for bicycle safety. These tips are for both bicyclists and drivers sharing the roads with bicycles, so everyone can avoid unnecessary accidents.

History Of National Bicycle Awareness Month

National Bicycle Awareness Month was started in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists. The idea was to promote healthy exercise by encouraging people to ride bikes. In more recent years, National Bicycle Awareness Month campaigns have focused on bicycle safety. In recognition of National Bicycle Awareness Month, Florida has an initiative called “Bike To Work” where all Florida residents are encouraged to ride their bicycles to work for one week. There are also several events sponsored throughout the state in local communities to encourage bicycle riding and promote safety awareness.

Benefits Of Riding A Bicycle

There are so many benefits to bicycle riding that everyone should consider adding this form of transportation to their commute:

  • Bicycling helps increase cardiovascular health, improves muscle strength, joint mobility, and bones, and decreases body fat

  • Bicycle riding triggers an endorphin release that decreases stress and anxiety levels

  • Bicycling can reduce your commute times during rush hour traffic

  • Bicycles are more environmentally friendly than driving

  • Bicycles are less expensive to run and maintain than cars and public transportation

Some Important Bicycle Safety Statistics

There are so many great benefits to riding, but it is also important to understand the risks to bicycle riders. Here are some important statistics about bicycle safety everyone should know:

  • Every year, 700 people are killed nationally from a bicycle accident

  • 48,000 are injured

  • Florida has the highest bicycle death rate in the country

  • Last year there were 113 bicycle deaths in Florida

  • 68% percent of all bicycle accidents happen in urban areas

  • Helmets reduce traumatic brain injury by 50%

  • Helmets reduce neck and spine injuries by 33%

Bicycle Safety Tips For Riders

Even in light of these statistics, bicycle riding can still be very safe if you ride defensively. Here are the most important bicycle safety tips for bicycle riders:

  • Wear protective gear like a properly fitting helmet, fitted clothing, and shoes with a good grip

  • Check your bicycle for any malfunctions before riding

  • Make sure you are always visible with bright colors during the day and lights at night

  • Always ride your bike safely

  • Be aware of dangerous road conditions

  • Obey all traffic laws

  • Ride with the flow, on the right hand side, of traffic

  • Yield to traffic when appropriate

  • Signal your intent and be predictable

  • Do not ride distract, stay alert and focused

  • Look twice before turning or crossing an intersection

  • Be careful around parked cars

Bicycle Safety For Drivers

It is also important that motor vehicle drivers exercise bicycle safety. Bicyclists are much more vulnerable than motorists, so it is important to understand how to share the road with these riders:

  • Stay aware and actively look for cyclists

  • Know that cyclists have the same rights on the roads as you do

  • Be patient around cyclists even if they are moving slower than traffic

  • Be predictable and communicate your intentions with cyclists

  • Do not pass a cyclist until you are sure that your passing lane is clear

  • Look out for cyclists when turning and at intersections

  • Give cyclists plenty of space, never tailgate a bicycle rider

  • After parking near a bicycle lane, watch for cyclists before open your door

  • Always yield the right of way to a cyclist

If you follow these basic safety tips, you will avoid any unnecessary bicycle accidents. So in honor of National Bicycle Awareness Month, get out there are ride!