Road Cycling Safety: Five Rules of the Road


Biking is a great way to get around, but safety is key.


Every year, the number of active bikers on the road increases. This likely has to do with our society becoming more sensitive to environmental issues, fitness, and the rising prices of gasoline.

As of 2017, there were 47.5 million cyclists on the road, so you can only imagine how many accidents that equates to. I have been cycling a lot lately in my marathon training, and it still boggles my mind how many people cycle without adequate accident protection. Even though you may be very fast on a bike, cars are always faster, bigger, and more deadly. So, I thought I would put together five hard-fast rules for cycling safety.

Obey all traffic signs. Stop at red lights and stop signs, and pay attention to one-way streets. Bikes are technically considered road vehicles, just like cars, so you should act accordingly.

READ MORE: How to Choose the Right Bicycle

Ride with traffic. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive, riding with traffic is actually safer than riding against it. Sidewalks are reserved for pedestrians, and bikers under 12 (according to the law).

Make sure and use helmets. You may not want to wear one as an adult, and I can’t stop you. I am a huge proponent of helmets though and it is absolutely non-negotiable for children. In many states it is actually law that cyclists under 18 must wear helmets.

Check reflectors and headlights. Make sure your bike has visible reflectors for night-time riding. Installing a headlight is an even better option, since you need both see and be seen, especially after dark.

Do not text and ride. I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but I can’t tell you how many people I see doing this. Texting while riding a bike is just like texting while driving a car, except there is nothing protecting you from being flattened by the other, bigger commuters on the road.

Wait until you stop at a red light or stop sign to send your grocery list to your husband. Believe me, it can wait.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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