Bicycling can be a healthy, economical, environmentally-friendly and enjoyable mode of transportation and recreation. The New York Bicycling Coalition is the premier resource for bicycling information in New York State. The coalition works on a number of projects that include safety and education programming and the promotion of national programs.
As fun as they are, however, bikes can also be dangerous.
Bicyclists are required to follow the same laws and rules of the road as motorists. They must learn to share the road responsibly. This includes riding on the right side of the road as well as obeying traffic signs and signals. Riding on the left side of the road, facing traffic is a common action on the part of the bicyclist that can cause a crash.
Bicyclists must also wear helmets. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute provides in-depth information on selecting and wearing helmets for riders of all ages.
Other actions or "missing actions" on the part of the bicyclist that can cause crashes are:
To help avoid a crash and be a responsible cyclist you should be predictable, be seen, be careful and be smart.
Bicyclists are more likely to be seen by other motorists if they behave like motorists. They need to be where other motorists are expected to be and doing what other motorists are expected to do. Therefore, don't ride the wrong way on a one-way street, or on the wrong side of the road, and don't disregard stop and yield signs.
A motorist may be looking your way and still not see you on your bicycle. Don't assume a motorist has seen you. Establish eye contact or adjust your activity in anticipation that they are unaware of your presence.
Be smart - wear a helmet!
Remember, though, that a helmet only works if it is buckled and fits properly. Whether as a passenger or as an operator; anyone between the ages of one and fourteen must wear an approved helmet.
Remember that operating any vehicle on a road is serious business. Do not ride a bicycle while wearing earphones. You will not be able to hear approaching traffic.
Young children in the 10 - 14 year old age group are at the highest risk. Bicyclist death rates per 100,000 people are highest in this age group. It's important to understand that young children: