Health & Safety

March 10, 2014

A bicycle on the road is not a toy

Kim Garcia
Garrison Safety USAG Fort Irwin

Dangerous bicycle riding habits have recently been observed at major intersections and busy roadways on Fort Irwin. Bicycle riders must obey all traffic laws. Use the following rules to keep you and your family safe while enjoying your next ride.

Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
Go With the Traffic Flow.<.strong> Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles. Go with the flow – not against it.
Yield to Traffic When Appropriates. Almost always, drivers on a smaller road must yield(wait) for traffic on a major or larger road. If there is no stop sign or traffic signal and you are coming from a smaller roadway (out of a driveway, from a sidewalk, a bike path, ect.), you must slow down and look to see if the way is clear before proceeding. This also means yielding to pedestrians who have already entered the crosswalk.
Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves to others.
Stay Alert at All Times. Use your eyes AND ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations; don’t wear a headset when you ride.
Look Before Turning. When turning left or right, always looks behind you for a break in traffic, and then signal before making the turn. Watch for left or right turning traffic.
Watch for Parked Cars. Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars(doors opening or cars pulling out).
Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life. Helmets are the single most effective piece of safety equipment for riders of all ages, if you crash.
Check Your Equipment. Before riding, inflate tires properly and check that your brakes work.
See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wearing white has not been shown to make you more visible. Rather, always wear neon, fluorescent, or other bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and dogs. All these hazards can cause a crash. If you are riding with friends and you are in the lead, yell out and point to the hazard to alert the riders behind you.
Avoid Riding at Night. It is far more dangerous to ride at night than during the day because you are harder for others to see. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others. Make sure you have reflectors on the front and rear of your bicycle(white lights on the front and red rear reflectors are require by law in many states), in addition to reflectors on your tires, so others can see you.




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