With Spring nearly upon us, people are out and about more frequently as they enjoy the sunny weather at our campus. It is time to give some thought to the following basic bicycle safety tips that are designed to ensure we all 'Arrive Alive' at our intended destination:
Walk in Crosswalks
Crosswalks are for pedestrians. If you are riding your bicycle and elect to use the crosswalk instead of the traffic lanes, become a pedestrian by walking your bicycle.
One of the biggest keys to safe riding is being predictable. Don't be an erratic moving target for cars. Using hand signals allows drivers to know what your plan is and drive accordingly. It is also important for other riders and pedestrians know your plans so don't ignore hand signals when you think you are alone. Also, move predictably. Don't veer into traffic or suddenly change your direction of travel or just stop. Just as you are trying to predict the movements of drivers, they are trying to predict yours.
Just like when you are walking, you can tell much about a driver's plans (or lack thereof) by watching them and making eye contact. A quick glance at the driver next to you will tell you if they are paying attention, if they see you, if they plan to turn or other valuable information. If you cannot tell what a driver is doing or if they do not see you, use caution or allow them to pass. This is especially important at intersections or crossings.
Single File Riding
When riding with friends or around other riders, ride single file. Although it is nice to socialize while riding, that is one more thing keeping your attention from the road and it makes it more difficult or impossible for drivers to safely pass you.
No iPod Zone
Despite the popularity and prevalence of iPods and other music players, the road is no place for them. Riding with both ears covered is against the law. Many riders choose to ride with one ear covered. This is still not safe, as your ability to hear and respond to sounds on that side is severely limited. Save the music for later and stay aware of your surroundings.
Don't Drink and Ride
We all know the dangers of drinking and driving or driving while under the influence of other drugs that may impair your abilities. However, it is important to remember the same dangers exist while on a bicycle. Just like in a car, it is unlawful to ride while under the influence. This very dangerous activity can lead to serious injures for the rider and a driver who may encounter him or her.