FACTS: Based on National Statistics,
• Every six hours a bicyclist is fatally injured.
• 49% of all bicyclist deaths occur to children age 16 or younger.
• Each year, nearly one million children are treated for bicycle-related injuries in U.S. Hospital emergency rooms or in other medical settings.
• One in seven children suffers head injuries in bicycle-related accidents.
• Head injuries cause three out of four serious injuries and deaths that occur in bicycle accidents.
• Two-thirds of all bicycle accidents are not with an automobile.
City studies show that the most common factor in bicycle accidents is bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the street. The major reason for these accidents occurring is that when vehicles are turning at intersections or entering traffic from a driveway, drivers are looking to the left. They may not see a bicyclist approaching from the right. If the accident occurs on the sidewalk chances are, both drivers are at fault. But it really doesn’t matter since the bicyclist is the one who will suffer the most severe injuries.
The mix of bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk poses conflicts. Sidewalks are designed for pedestrian use and are often congested with pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians often move from one side to the other. Bicycles travel faster and cannot always avoid hitting moving pedestrians.
• Always obey all traffic laws.
• Ride on the right-hand side of the road with the flow of traffic.
• Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
• Signal before making turns.
• Use a headlight and reflectorized safety equipment when riding at night.
• Always wear a helmet when riding.
• Wear bright clothing with reflective strips particularly at night.
• Be sure your bike is in proper operating condition before each ride.
• Ride with traffic, never against it.
• Watch for turning vehicles and vehicles exiting driveways.
• Watch out for opening doors on parked cars.
• Ride on bike trails and streets with bike lanes whenever possible.
• Never ride double or carry packages that obstruct your view or interfere with your control of the bike.
• Teach your children the rules of the road for their protection. Responsible bicyclists are involved in fewer accidents.