Whether you’re hitting the streets of Chicago and riding to work, or you’re leisurely enjoying a bike trail, safety should be first priority for the rider. Cyclists are extremely vulnerable to motorized traffic and variable road conditions. Cyclists can increase road safety by following a few guidelines while sharing the road with drivers and pedestrians.
Help Drivers and Pedestrians Predict Your Next Move
Unlike motor vehicles that are equipped with break lights and turn signals, it becomes the cyclist’s duty to signal to others while riding. If you maintain your speed and position in your bike lane and use signals when you are stopping and turning, drivers and pedestrians will be able to predict your next move and adjust accordingly.
Cyclists can use reflectors, front and back bike lights, brightly colored clothing, and flashers to increase their visibility both day and night. The use of a bike bell or bike horn will also aid in letting people know that you are approaching.
Be a Courteous Rider
Scan the road and the sides of the roads for pedestrians. By law, bikers must always yield to pedestrians and avoid blocking cross walks.
Don’t forget your pre-ride check! Before riding, examine your bike to be sure that your wheels and brakes are in place. Use a helmet and mirrors for changing lanes. Also use pant clips and be sure loose clothing or shoelaces will not get caught in the chain.