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Bicycle Safety Cheat Sheet by

safety     bicycle

Safety Tips

Obey traffic signs and signals - Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
Always wear your helmet - Bicycl­ist's 14 years old and younger are required to wear a helmet when operating a bicycle. The helmet must conform to the standard establ­ished by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) at all times.
Never ride against traffic - Motorist’s aren't looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. State law and common sense require that bicyclists drive like other operating vehicles.
Don’t pass on the right - Motorist's may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
Keep both hands ready to brake - You may not stop in time if you brake one-ha­nded. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet.
Scan the road behind you - Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving. Some riders use rear-view mirrors.
Never operate a bicycle wearing headph­ones, talking on a cell phone or text messag­ing - Wearing headph­ones, talking on a cell phone or text messaging when operating a bicycle can be a deadly distra­ction. Be alert to your surrou­ndings; stop your bicycle when sending or receiving a cell phone call or text message.
Follow lane markings - Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked “right­-turn only.”
Do not consume alcohol - Consuming alcohol and operating a bicycle do not mix. Alcohol can dramat­ically diminish a bicycl­ist’s cognitive and physical abilities and can result in a crash.
Dress approp­ria­tely - In rain, wear a poncho or a waterproof suit. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temper­ature changes. Wear brightly colored clothing.
Use hand signals - Hand signals tell motorists and pedest­rians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy and of self-p­rot­ection.
Ride in the middle of the lane in slower traffic - Get in the middle of the lane at busy inters­ections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic.
Choose the best way to turn left - There are two choices: (1) Like an automo­bile: Signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left. (2) Like a pedest­rian: Ride straight to the far side crosswalk. Walk your bike across.
Make eye contact with drivers - Assume that other drivers don't see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact is important with any driver who might pose a threat to your safety.
Look out for road hazards - Watch out for parall­el-slat sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
Use lights at night - New York law requires a white headlight (visible from at least 500 feet ahead) and a red rear reflector or taillight (visible up to 300 feet from behind).
Keep your bike in good repair - Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine mainte­nance is simple and you can learn to do it yourself.

Bicycle Safety

Proper bicycle mainte­nance

It is very important to keep your bicycle in good working order. You should have your bike thoroughly checked by a profes­sional at the beginning of your riding season to ensure that it is in good mechanical condition. A more general check should also be performed at the beginning of each ride:
• Are your tires in good condition and properly inflated?
• Are your handle­bars, wheels and seat straight and secure?
• Are your brakes working properly?
• Are there any signs that the bike may be damaged or in need of repair?
Riding bicycles is a great way to stay active. Being prepared with the properly sized and maintained equipment will help make the experience safer and more enjoyable.

Introd­uction: Helmets are Essential

Before riding make sure everyone is wearing a safe and properly fitted helmet. Helmets only work if they are in good condition and you wear them correctly.

Safe helmets will have a seal of approval from safety organi­zations such as ANSI, Snell or CPSC.
A properly sized and fitted helmet should sit securely on your head and not rock or sway as you move around. To make sure you are wearing a correctly sized helmet, try the Eyes-E­ars­-Mouth check:
The helmet should fit one to two finger widths above the eyes. When you look upward the front rim should be barely visible to your eye. A helmet worn too far back will not protect your forehead.
Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled.
The chin strap should be snug against the chin so that when you open your mouth very wide you feel the helmet pull down a little bit.
Helmets come with interc­han­geable pads to help you adjust the fit both front to back and side to side. Try the different thickness pads until you find a snug fit that is comfor­table without being too loose.
Helmets are not indest­ruc­tible; they are designed for a single incident. If you are in an accident or your helmet sustains an impact or is damaged in any way (e.g. scrapes, dents, or cracks) you should throw it away and get a new one. It is important to note that damage is not always visible.

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