Defensive Driving Blog

Take To The Streets

BUT BE SAFE and practice defensive driving.

Bicycle safety is a big deal but a subject that few bike riders know much about. That is because, for the most part, children and young adults ride more than any other age group. In fact, children (5-14 years), adolescents, and young adults (15-24 years) have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle-related injuries, accounting for almost 60% of all bicycle-related injuries seen in U.S. emergency departments. Because of the relatively young age it is up to adults to be certain that young bike riders in the family know the essential rules of the road for riders.

turn signals

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 in the U.S., almost 800 bicyclists were killed and there were an estimated 515,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries. Males are much more likely to be killed or injured on bicycles than are females and adolescents (15-24 years) and adults aged 45 years and older have the highest bicycle death rates. All of these statistics are just here to show how deadly this favorite recreational activity can be.
But, of course, not all bicycle accidents involve a motor vehicle. Let’s talk about defensive driving and the safety aspects when it comes to bikes and cars on the road together. Here are some certainties:

  • A bicyclist should always obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals.
  • Never ride opposite the flow of traffic.
  • A bicyclist is required to stop at all signs and stop at red lights.
  • Persons riding two abreast cannot impede the normal flow of traffic and must ride in a single lane.
    A person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as possible to the right curb or edge of the roadway unless:
    -The person is overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
    -The person is preparing for a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway.
    -There are unsafe conditions in the roadway such as fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, potholes, or debris.
    -The lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.

In case you are curious, the three most common car-bicyclist crashes are:

  • A motorist running left in the face of oncoming bicycle traffic.
  • A motorist turning right across the path of the bicycle traffic.
  • A motorist pulling away from a stop sign, failing to yield right-of-way to bicycle cross traffic. At intersections, right-of-way rules apply equally to motor vehicles and bicycles.

So, as you take to the streets be in a defensive driving mode, enjoy all this spring weather and be sure to practice bicycle safety – whether you are on the bike or in your car. And if you need information on this or any defensive driving subject just log into

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