Know the 7 rules of the road for bicyclists

Biking to work, for exercise, or just to enjoy the beautiful weather is a great spring and summer activity. Did you know though, that no matter where you ride, your bike is considered a vehicle? Because bikes share the road with motorists, it's important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. 

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In general, follow these seven guidelines any time you're biking to stay safe on the road: 

Wear a helmet

Adjust the straps on the helmet until it is snug and sits level on your head. View the complete steps for proper helmet fitting.

Do not wear headphones

While it's tempting to listen to music while biking, wearing headphones can impair your ability to hear traffic or warning signals. 

Don't ride on sidewalks

Although it may seem like the safest option, sidewalks are intended for pedestrians, and many cities have ordinances prohibiting it. 

Obey the rules

When riding on the street, it's important to obey the same rules as auto drivers. Ride with traffic, stop at lights and stop signs, and yield to pedestrians.

Keep a straight line

Ride in a straight line at least three feet from the curb or parked vehicles. Don't swerve around vehicles. 

Stay visible

Be sure to wear bright colors, lights, and reflective clothing when heading out for a ride. Especially at dawn, dusk, and night-time. 

Use appropriate hand signals

Hand signals should be used whenever you stop or make a turn. To view common biking hand signals, click here. 

Some states have significant ordinances regarding bicyclists. Visit your state's Department of Transportation website for more information. 

For a list of scenic bike trails in your area, visit: www.railstotrails.org