- Communicate with drivers. When biking, use a bell or horn to alert drivers or pedestrians when you're approaching. Before you turn, the recommends using hand signals to communicate with those around you to avoid a collision. Also make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they have seen you, and always look before turning or crossing.
Visibility can be an issue for bicyclists in the dark, so take steps to ensure that motorists can see you. Adding white front lights and red back lights to your bike, plus reflective tape or clothing can also help make you more visible in the dark. And remember, visibility isn't just an issue late at night; cloudy days and early mornings can impair motorists' ability to see bicyclists on the road too.
- Obey the rules of the road. Drivers and bicyclists are expected to observe traffic rules such as stop signs and red lights. Ignoring these traffic rules can lead to injuries that would have otherwise been preventable. Never ride against the flow of traffic, warns bicycling organization . Drivers and pedestrians alike may not be expecting bicyclists riding in that direction. Also stay in your lane and don't ride on the sidewalk if you're an adult (though, children are allowed to ride on the sidewalk in some areas, .) Avoid distracted riding much like you would distracted driving, and wait to check your cellphone until you're safely off the road.
- Wear a helmet. In the event of an accident, wearing a helmet can help prevent a traumatic brain injury. The that if all children between ages 4 and 15 wore helmets it would prevent 39,000 to 45,000 head injuries each year. Some states require bicyclists under a certain age to , but it's a good idea for riders of all ages. Make sure your helmet is properly fitted to protect you in case of an accident and replace your helmet after any impact, suggests the League of American Bicyclists. The positioning, straps, and size are all factors in wearing a helmet properly. The provides instructions that can help you check all of these bike safety considerations and keep you safe while riding.