Know the law.
Cyclists have a legal right to share the road. That privilege comes with responsibilities. Understand the laws governing traffic safety, safe riding procedures, bike equipment, and more.
Wear a helmet.
Head injuries are the most serious type of injury and the most common cause of death for bicyclists. Bicycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of head and brain injury when a crash occurs by as much as 85 to 88 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So even though helmets are required only for bike riders 18 and under, it’s clear that wearing one offers protection. Find more about helmets and how to properly fit yours here.
Learn hand signals.
Hand signals communicate changes in direction and speed and help others adjust their movements in relationship to yours. California law requires cyclists to use them when turning left or right or when stopping or slowing. Learn them here
Wear bright colors. Equip your bike with a headlight and rear reflector. There are about 11,000 bicycle collisions a year in California that result in injuries or fatalities, many due to a lack of visibility, according to AAA.
Don’t ride distracted. Keep the music and phone for another time. And don’t ride your bike if you’ve been drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a contributing factor in 1 out of 4 crashes involving bicycle-related fatalities.
Ride with traffic.
Ride with traffic on the right side of the road; it’s the best way to share the road with motorists. If you’re traveling slower than the speed of traffic, California law requires you to use a bike lane if one is available.
Take a bike class.
Improve your skills and safety awareness with a local bike class. It’s a great way for both enthusiasts and commuters to learn about everything from riding in traffic to bike maintenance.