Ten Bike Safety Tips from Bike O‘ahu
- Wear a helmet every time you ride. Even if you just ride on bike paths or for a short distance, make sure you put on your helmet before you go. You don’t have to be going fast or far to risk serious head injuries.
- Obey traffic laws. Your bike is a vehicle, and just like a car, you must stop at stop signs and red traffic lights.
- Always ride with the flow of traffic. Even if you are riding a short distance, it is never safe to ride against traffic. Also, it is unlawful to ride facing traffic in Hawai‘i, as it is in all 50 states.
- Stop at the end of the driveway. Many crashes between a car and bike happen when riders don’t stop at the end of their driveway to look for cars. Always look left-right-left before entering or crossing a road.
- Be predictable. Don’t do anything that would surprise drivers, such as swerving in and out of parked cars or traffic.
- Look behind you, and make sure it is clear, before making a left turn or moving into the roadway. You should be able to glance over your shoulder without swerving. Also, let motorists know what you’re doing by using proper hand signals for turning and stopping.
- Be visible. Wear light-colored clothes when you ride, and try to get a bright helmet. If you ride at night, you must have a white front light and a red rear reflector.
- Don’t use headphones when riding. You need to be able to hear the traffic around you. Save your radio and tapes for relaxing after your bike ride.
- Don’t ride too close to parked cars. A driver may suddenly open the door in your path. Leave at least 3 feet of distance when passing parked cars, and be alert for cars that may be pulling out into the road.
- Make sure your bike is safe. Before you leave home, check to make sure that the brakes work, the seat and handlebars are tight, and the tires are properly inflated and in good shape. Also, make sure your bike is the right size. A bike that is too big is more dangerous than one that is too small.
For further information call the State Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator at 692-7675, the Bicycle Coordinator at the City & County of Honolulu at 768-8335, or the Hawai‘i Bicycling League at 735-5756 (www.hbl.org)
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