General Safety Bicycling Tips
Bicycling is an excellent way to travel. To minimize the chance of injury, cyclists should consider the following safety bicycling tips:
- Always be in a clear and alert state while bicycling. Never operate a bicycle while impaired.
- Know your route. Tell someone where you are going and the route you plan to take.
- Always be aware of the pedestrians, cyclist, and vehicles around you. Use a bell or other audible signal to alert pedestrians of your presence before passing.
- Be aware of the sounds around you. Always be mindful of sirens, car horns, or people. Don’t wear audio headphones while biking.
- Keep your vision clear and sharp so you can notice warning signs, emergency lights, or hazards in your path. Always wear required eye prescriptions while operating a bicycle. Don’t wear clothing that limits your vision, peripherals, or ability to freely look around. Sunglasses should be worn when sunny or to prevent glare.
- Always stay within your skill level as a bicycler. Do not attempt bicycle maneuvers or routes that are beyond your abilities.
- Use undamaged safety gear that fits. Helmets help protect your head from traumatic injuries. Gloves, knee pads, long pants and long sleeves help protect you during a fall.
- Wear clothing that doesn’t inhibit your ability to safely operate a bicycle. Baggy clothing can become tangled in the bicycle, potentially causing loss of control.
- Wear closed-toe shoes that don’t inhibit your ability to operate a bicycle. Closed toes shoes help protect your feet during accidents. A cyclist without closed-toe shoes (sandals, flip-flops, bare feet, etc.) run the risk of injuries from debris on the street, falling, or being caught in the gears of the bicycle.
- Keep yourself visible to others by wearing bright clothing, reflective tape, and/or lights. Avoid biking in the blind spots of drivers around you.
- Keep your bicycle visible to others by properly attaching reflectors, reflective tape, and lights.
- Always exercise caution while riding a bicycle.
- Exercise extreme caution while bicycling at night. Other pedestrians, cyclists and drivers will have a more difficult time noticing your presence after sunset. Front-facing white lamps, rear and side reflectors are required for nighttime biking. Wearing reflector tape and/or brightly colored clothing can also increase your chances of being seen.
- Exercise extreme caution while bicycling in dangerous weather conditions. Rain can decrease visibility and make roads slick. Give yourself extra braking distance. The same applies to snow and freezing rain. Ice and snow on the road are extremely slick, and it becomes easy to lose control of a bicycle or vehicle. High winds can also make it difficult to keep control of a bicycle, as well as blow dangerous debris into your path. Do not bicycle during emergency weather conditions.
- Keep your bicycle in good working order. Always check your brakes before riding. Dependable brakes are not only safe but required by the law in both Kansas and Missouri. Always make sure your tires, brakes, gears, lights, peddles etc. are in good working order before biking.
- Never carry passengers on a bike. Never carry objects while biking at the same time.