Road Safety – Bicycles
Each summer we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. Unfortunately, there have been many tragic accidents in Buffalo and Rochester involving bicyclists and motor vehicles this summer. These types of accidents are likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities. Please use caution in sharing the road with bicyclists to help prevent a fun day from turning tragic.
Some bicycle safety tips to remember:
- Always wear a properly fitted helmet with the straps fastened.
- Wear bright clothing and reflectors so that you’re highly visible to drivers, even during the day. You can buy reflectors, headlights, and taillights to place on your bicycle for nighttime rides.
- Remember that on a bike you have the same rights and responsibilities as your fellow motorists, including obeying traffic signs and signals.
- Ride with traffic. This is not only the law, it’s for your own safety. Motorists will not expect you to be riding against traffic, and statistics show this increases the risk of an accident substantially.
- Do not wear anything that could become caught in your bicycle chain, like straps or loose clothing.
- Signal your turns so motorists are aware of your intentions.
- Remain alert as you ride. Watch for motorists who may turn or pull out in front of you, and watch for open car doors. Do not pass cars on the right.
- Do not ride on the sidewalk. It is especially dangerous to re-enter road traffic from the sidewalk as you will be virtually unseen by motorists.
- Make sure your bicycle fits you properly and is in good repair.
Motorists, please be aware you share the road with bicyclists and so you are also responsible for their safety. Use caution when driving. Be sure to check carefully for bicyclists before opening your doors, making turns, or merging into a bicycle lane.
I also encourage avid bicyclists to check the SUM (Supplement Uninsured Motorist) coverage on their auto insurance policies. This insurance will cover you on your bicycle as well as in your car. SUM insurance is supremely important should you get into an accident with another driver who is under-insured (or not insured at all), and generally it is not very expensive. If you do not own a car and cannot obtain SUM coverage, some insurance companies are beginning to offer insurance policies specifically for bicycles.