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Staying Safe While Biking: A Few Tips

Biking Safety Tips

May was National Bike Month. In recognition of this event, and the millions of bicycles out on the road, 21st Century Insurance would like to take a moment to focus on bicycle safety.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I), bicycling has increased in popularity both as a sport and as a means of transportation. Between 1992 and 2006, bicycle sales increased roughly 20 percent in the United States, from 15.3 million to 18.2 million per year, the U.S. Department of Justice noted in a recent report. In addition, according to the National Sporting Goods Association, 44.7 million people rode bikes in 2008, up 11.4 percent from the previous year.

With so many people riding, the opportunity for an accident also increases. The National Highway Safety Administration suggests that cyclists follow these simple rules to stay safe while biking:

Protect Your Head: Never ride a bike without a properly fitted helmet.

Assure Bicycle Readiness: Ride a bike that fits you and check all parts of the bicycle to make sure they are secure and working well.

Learn and Follow the Rules of the Road: Bicycles are considered vehicles on the road; therefore, riders must follow the same traffic laws as drivers of motor vehicles.

Act Like a Driver of a Vehicle: Always ride with the flow of traffic, on the right side of the road, and as far to the right of the road as is practicable and safe.

Be Visible: Always assume you are not seen by others and take responsibility for making yourself visible to motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists.

Drive with Care: When you ride, consider yourself the driver of a vehicle and always keep safety in mind. Ride in the bike lane, if available. Take extra care when riding on a roadway. Courtesy and predictability are key to safe cycling.

Stay Focused. Stay Alert: Never wear headphones as they hinder your ability to hear traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.

To learn more about bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Portions of this article were republished with permission from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I). Visit www.iii.org for more information.

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