Whether you’re commuting to work, enjoying a leisurely ride around the neighborhood or teaching your child to ride, bike safety is important for everyone to know. The Virginia DMV provides a great guide to help keep everyone safe while enjoying a bike ride.
(Safety Information from Virginia DMV)
Bicycle Rules of the Road
Bicycles are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles. When passing a bicyclist, motor vehicles must proceed at a reasonable speed and travel at least three feet to the left of the overtaken bicycle. Riders should practice safe and legal bike operation:
- Ride with traffic.
- Stop and look both ways before entering the street.
- Stop at all intersections.
- Before turning, use hand signals and look all ways.
- Ride defensively – anticipate the actions of other road users and watch for road hazards.
- Pass vehicles with extreme care – turning vehicles may not see you.
- Be aware of motor vehicle blind spots while riding or when stopped at an intersection.
- Walk your bicycle when you get into traffic situations beyond your cycling abilities.
- Exercise great caution when riding in bus traffic – watch out for buses pulling to and from curbs and passengers getting on and off buses.
- Park your bicycle so you do not block sidewalks, disabled accesses, building accesses or emergency lanes.
Dress for Safety
Stay safe by making sure that you are visible to motorists:
- Wear a helmet, wear bright colored clothing, and secure loose pant legs.
- Maximize your visibility at night – wear reflective clothing and apply reflective tape to your bicycle.
Learning to ride a bicycle is an exciting accomplishment for a child. Making sure that riding is a safe and enjoyable experience for your child is important:
- Provide your children with helmets approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Teach them to wear the helmets correctly on every ride.
- Ensure young children are properly supervised and never allow them to ride their bicycle in the street.
- The decision to allow older children to ride in the street should depend on traffic patterns, individual maturity, and an adequate knowledge and ability to follow bicycle rules.
- Your children should never ride at dusk or in the dark.
- Teach your children how to keep their bikes in good repair, and to check the tires, brakes, and seat and handlebar height annually.