With the May flowers blooming and beautiful California weather getting warmer, people are taking to the streets with bikes of all kinds. Whether you’re on the Tour de California with your specialized road bike or Highway 101 with your new motorcycle, safety should be the first thing on your list to check off before you get on the road. The California Office of Traffic Safety would like to remind everyone on pedal or motor bikes to remain alert and to always put safety first when on the road.
All motorists should be checking blind spots, sharing the road and leaving a safe following distance. These are all important road safety rules for preventing crashes and injuries among bicyclists and motorcycle riders.
To help motorcyclists stay safe in any traffic situation, OTS has compiled the following roadway safety tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Current weather and changes in light conditions may affect the ability to ride safely
- Follow all posted speed limits
- Remain visible. When navigating through traffic, motorcyclists are at risk of not being seen by other drivers. Wearing brightly colored and reflective safety gear is recommended, along with the use of high beams during daytime hours
- Practice defensive driving techniques. Always be aware of what surrounding vehicles are doing and be prepared to react accordingly. Leave plenty of following distance, don’t linger in blind spots, account for distracted or inattentive drivers and do not swerve in and out of lanes of traffic or ride on top of the line
- And most importantly, always wear a Department of Transportation approved helmet
Bicyclists can stay safe on our roadways by taking the following tips into consideration next time they head out for a ride:
- Follow all traffic laws and use proper hand signals
- Always wear a helmet and never ride with headphones on
- If riding at night, wear reflective or brightly colored clothing and use bike safety lights to ensure visibility
- Stay alert and never ride against traffic
- Make eye contact with drivers to ensure that they see you
- Keep your bike in good repair and check both your brakes and tires regularly
Together, attentive motorists, motorcycle riders and bicyclists can help to make our roadways safer. For information on bike safety tips and other OTS efforts please visit www.ots.ca.gov