We’ve said it once, we’ll say it a million times: wear a helmet when you ride. Make it a rule and a habit for you and every family member. And make sure to choose a helmet, designed for biking, that fits your head size and meets ANSI, Snell or CPSC standards.
STOP at the end of the driveway to look around. Then ride out.
Always stop at the end of your driveway and look to make sure the road is clear before starting to ride in the street.
Ride on the correct side of the road.
Even if you are going a short distance, go the direction of the cars to protect yourself and the cars around you.
Obey traffic laws.
Yes, the rules of the road apply to bikers too. Make sure you obey every traffic law, including stop signs and stoplights.
Don’t make any sudden movements.
The best way to be safe on the road is to be predictable. Swerving, weaving in and out of traffic, or any sudden, unexpected motion will surprise cars.
Talk to the hand. (Or with the hand, rather.)
Let motorists know what to expect by using proper hand signals to indicate turns or braking.
See and be seen.
Make it easier for motorists to see you by choosing light or bright colors for your clothes and your helmet when you ride. Also, try not to ride at night – it’s best to have someone pick you up, or walk your bike home after the sun goes down.
Don’t ride too close to parked cars.
Cars can still be dangerous, even if they aren’t moving. So make sure to leave at least three feet of distance when passing parked cars. And be aware of drivers pulling out onto the road in front of you, or opening the door of their parked car as you pass by.
Pedestrians are king.
Always slow down and yield the right-of-way for pedestrians. It helps if you go slower when you’re on a shared path where there are a lot of walkers and joggers. As a courtesy, give a little “to your left!” callout as you approach them or attempt to pass.
Have fun fun. Not stupid fun.
Bikes are fun, but they are not meant for joking around, such as hitching a ride on a moving vehicle. Remember: most bikes have one seat for a reason. And if your bike is built for tricks, make sure you practice them in a safe area away from traffic and parked cars.
HAND SIGNAL CHEAT SHEET
Hold your left arm straight out to communicate left turn.
Left arm out and bent 90 degrees up, with your palm facing forward, means right turn.
A stop is a left hand out, bent 90 degrees down, with your palm facing the rear.
Always make sure the coast is clear before changing lanes!