Safety Tips

Cyclists Safety Tips

Be visible, predictable and safe.

  • Obey traffic laws. Cyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
  • Use hand signals.
  • Ride in a straight line; don’t weave.
  • Use lights at night.
  • Wear a helmet.

Avoid the door zone. Exercise care not to ride too close to parallel parked cars. To avoid the door zone, ride 3-5’ from parked cars.

When making left turns you may do so in one of two ways:

  1. Signal and move into the left side of the travel lane (or left turn lane) as a vehicle.
  2. Ride straight and cross the intersection, then turn your bike in the desired direction and proceed when it’s safe and legal to do so. Similar to a pedestrian.

Understand correct lane positioning.

Never ride against traffic. Motorists aren’t looking for cyclists riding on the wrong side of the road.

Don’t go straight in a lane marked for “right turn only.” Move into the lane going straight and allow motorists to turn right on your right side.

Watch for any indications that a motorist may turn into your path. When approaching intersections try to stay far enough from the curb to allow cars to turn right without cutting in front of you.

Ride single file and to the right, and “take the lane” when required. Be aware of who is on the roadway with you. When the road is wide enough, ride single file and as far right as is practical. When the road is too narrow for a car to pass safely in your lane, “take the lane” to avoid being clipped by a motorist.

Watch for potential road hazards. Scan the road 100 feet ahead for hazards, like drains, potholes, tracks, or debris. Allow time to maneuver around these hazards and negotiate with traffic.

Respect pedestrian’s rights. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians. Be courteous by warning others with a ring of your bell or a friendly greeting. Allow plenty of space when passing.

Motorists Safety Tips

Slow down. Reduce your speed when passing cyclists, especially if the roadway is narrow.

Give at least 3-5’ of passing space. Slow down and wait for a safe place to pass when driving behind a cyclist, especially on a narrow road. A car passing too closely can injure or kill a cyclist.

Do NOT pass cyclists:

1) If oncoming traffic is near. Wait as you would with any slow-moving vehicle. Your patience will only take a few seconds and can help prevent a serious crash.

2)If you will be making a right hand turn soon. Always assume cyclists are traveling through unless they signal otherwise.

Be aware when a road is too narrow. When there is not enough room to share the road, cyclists should “take the lane,” which means riding in or near the center of the lane.

Don’t underestimate the speed of cyclists. When making a left hand turn, yield to oncoming cyclists just as you would yield to oncoming motorists.

Before opening your car door, look for cyclists who may be approaching.

Give cyclists adequate space to maneuver. Recognize situations and obstacles, such as drains, potholes, tracks, and debris, that can be hazardous to cyclists.

Don’t blast your horn. When approaching cyclists, you could startle them and cause a crash.

Download these guidelines as a PDF: SVBC Safety Tips

Descargue las puntas de seguridad en español: SVBC Safety Tips (Español)