Cycling Safety Tips for National Bike Month

Wednesday, April 24 at 01:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Whether it’s for leisure, commuting, or exercise, people choose to ride bicycles daily across the United States. And much like drivers, bicyclists have a responsibility to stay alert while traveling. This choice could mean the difference between life, serious injury, or death for yourself or those around you. As a cyclist, always ride distraction-free and pay attention to your surroundings.

May is National Bike Month, and Arvest Bank is sharing expert tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration* on how to stay safe while cycling.

Helmets

Size can vary between manufacturers. Follow the steps to fit a helmet properly. It may take time to ensure a proper helmet fit, but your life is worth it. It’s usually easier to look in the mirror or have someone else adjust the straps. For the most comprehensive list of helmet sizes according to manufacturers, go the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (BHSI) Web site*.

Decreasing Risks of Crashes

There are two main types of crashes: the most common (falls), and the most serious (the ones with cars). Regardless of the reason for the crash, prevention is the name of the game. There are things you can do to decrease your risk of a crash. First, know some bicycle safety facts:

  • Bicyclist deaths occur most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., regardless of the season (20% weekdays and 26% weekends).
  • Bicyclist deaths occur most often in urban areas (71%) compared to rural areas (29%).
  • Bicyclist deaths were 5.6 times higher for males than females in 2016.
  • Alcohol was involved in 35 percent of all fatal bicyclist crashes in 2016.
  • Ride responsibly, and remember: All states require bicyclists on the roadway to follow the same rules and responsibilities as motorists.

Improve Your Riding Skills

No one learns to drive a vehicle safely without practice and experience; safely riding your bike in traffic requires the same preparation. Start by riding your bike in a safe environment away from traffic (a park, path, or empty parking lot).

Take an on-bike class through your school, recreation department, local bike shop or bike advocacy group. Confidence in traffic comes with learning how to navigate and communicate with other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Review and practice as a safe pedestrian or bicyclist is great preparation for safe riding.

Before you ride, make sure your bike is in good working order, put on a helmet, and be sure you can manage the ride or route you've chosen. Enjoy the ride!

* Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Source: https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety

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