Whether you’re riding a bicycle or a motorcycle May is the month for you! We’ve got some safety tips for all bikers down below. But first here’s some background on what these campaigns aim to do.
National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month serves as a reminder that motorcyclists and other drivers need to do their part to keep our roads safe for all users. Motorcyclists are more at risk for fatal crashes. Motorcyclists deaths occurred 28 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And 37 percent of riders who died in single-vehicle crashes that year had been drinking.
The League of American Bicyclists sponsors National Bike Month every May to showcase the many benefits of cycling and to encourage more people to get on a bicycle. National Bike to Work Week is May 13-19 this year and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 17. Visit the league’s website to learn more about Bike Month and related events.
Bicycle Safety Tips
- Go with the Flow – While pedestrians should walk against traffic, cyclists should always follow the flow of traffic.
- Avoid Distractions – Just as you shouldn’t drive or walk while using your cell phone, you should hold that call or text until after you’re done cycling. Remember: Heads Up, Phones Down.
- Obey the traffic laws and lights – Just as pedestrians must wait for the walk, wait until you have the green light before entering an intersection.
- Wear a helmet – It could save your life.
- Stay alert – Be aware of obstacles and look out for turning vehicles that may not see you.
- Be seen – Wear neon or reflective clothing. Just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean that driver can see you.
- Check before you ride – Make sure your brakes are working and your tires are properly inflated before heading out.
- If you have quick release wheels, make sure they are properly secured.
- Signal – Use hand signals when turning.
- Make noise – NJ requires that cyclists be equipped with a bell or other audible device that can be heard at least 100 feet away.
- Riding at night? Use a light – it’s the law in NJ.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
- Wear a helmet and consider using a Department of Transportation-compliant one, they’re more likely to protect your head.
- Avoid Distractions – Hold that call or text until after you’ve parked your motorcycle. Remember: Heads Up, Phones Down.
- Obey traffic lights, signals, speed limits and lane markings.
- Check behind you and signal before changing lanes.
- Proceed cautiously at intersections and yield to pedestrians.
- Wear reflective materials when riding at night.
- Ride sober — 37 percent of riders who died in single-vehicle crashes were alcohol-impaired.
- Before you ride, check your tire pressure and tread depth, breaks, headlights, signals and fluid levels.