The number of people who bike regularly to work has jumped 40% over the last decade. If you’re considering taking advantage of this eco-friendly way to stay fit, be sure to also stay safe. Studies show that car drivers contribute to 64% of bicycle-car collisions, usually from a failure to yield to the bicyclist.
To increase your chances of a safe commute, the American Automobile Association (AAA) suggests these tips:
- Be predictable – Move with traffic and signal your lane changes.
- Wear your helmet – Helmets can reduce your chance of head injury in the event of a crash by 85%, but only if they’re worn properly. Make sure it’s tight enough so that you can’t move it more than one inch in any direction. Position it so that it sits one-to-two finger widths above your eyebrows.
- Wear bright clothes – Help cars see you. Wear bright colors and don’t forget headlights, tail lights, and reflectors when you’re riding at dusk or night.
- Don’t drink – Surprisingly, one-fifth of bikers killed in 2010 were at or over the legal limit for alcohol.
- Follow the rules of the road – Most state laws require bikes to follow the same rules that cars do. That means stop at lights, heed signs, and don’t forget to yield to pedestrians.
For extra help should you encounter a flat or other problem while out riding, find out if your AAA or other towing coverage might also cover your bicycle.