Bike Safety Tips for Car Free Day

Decatur is celebrating Car Free Day this Wednesday, September 21 and the Active Living Division will have a table at the Blue Sky Concert giving away stickers and tattoos to those who walk or bike to the Square. To make sure everyone arrives safely, we want to remind everyone of some safety tips.

Safety Tips for Bicyclists

  • Always ride with traffic and follow the rules of the road. Forget what you might have heard in the past, you should ride with the flow of traffic. This makes you more predictable and visible to motorists, especially at intersections and driveways. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars, and use hand signals when turning and stopping. Obey traffic signs, signals and lane markings and yield to traffic when appropriate, inclduing pedestrains.
  • Don’t ride on the sidewalk, unless you are 12 or under. Although you might think it is safer, motorists are simple not looking for bicyclists on the sidewalk, especially those riding against traffic.
  • Ride on the trail, paved shoulder, bike lane or bike route when possible.
  • Be predictable and visible. Try not to be hesitant or do things that motorists ad othr travelers may not be expecting. Maure sure everyone can see you and knows where you are and where you are going. If riding in the dark, use headlights, tailllights and reflectors and wear reflective materials and brightly colored clothing. Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone.
  • Watch for stuff on the road or trail that might make you fall or swerve. Also watch for parked cars, doors opening, and cars pulling out of driveways.
  • Watch for turning traffic. Most car/bike collisions happen at intersections and driveways when motorists or bicyclists are turning.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Watch for bicyclists at all times. Bicycles are vehicles and bicyclists may take the entire lane. Scan for bicyclists in traffic and give them the appropriate right-of-way. Children and novice riders  can be inpredicatable; expect the unexpected. Watch for bicyclists before opening car doors. Don’t drive distracted!
  • Drive the speed limit and avoid agressive maneuvers. Obey speed limits and ome to a complete stop at stop signs. Allow exxtra time for bicyclists to traverse intersections. Recognize hazards that bicyclists may face and give them space to maneuver.
  • Pass Bicyclists with care! Treat bicyclists as you would a sow-moving car; don’t tailgate and do wait until traffice conditions allow you to safely pass the bicyclist. Reduce speed when passing bicyclists and allow at least 3 feet of passing space. Check over your shoulder after passing a bicyclist before moving back. Don’t blast your horn in close proximity to bicyclists.