Quick Reminders on Bicycle Safety as We Ring in the New Year

Bicycle safety and etiquette are important in order to be thoroughly aware of your surroundings, especially in a busy city like Los Angeles. Here are a few tips to remember as we kick off the New Year!

  1. Obey all traffic signals and signs Bicycles are considered vehicles on the road and obeying traffic signals and signs make others aware of your actions.
  1. Ride with the flow of traffic Never ride against traffic! It is AGAINST the law. It can be dangerous and cause potentially serious accidents, as motorists are not looking for oncoming bicyclists.
  1. Use proper hand signals Using hand signals helps alert other vehicles of your intentions.
    Diagram of how to properly use hand signals when turning as a bicyclist
  2. Never weave DO NOT WEAVE in and out of traffic as you become unpredictable and less visible.
  3. Use lights and reflectors When riding at night, in the rain, or at dusk, remember to have working lights and reflectors on your bike to increase your visibility.
  1. Respect motorists To be respected on the road, bicyclists must respect motorists as well. Make sure to make eye contact when possible and honor the right-of-way.
  1. Choose the safest left turn option As a bicyclist, there are two ways to make a left, vehicular style or pedestrian style. It may not be safe to move across traffic to make a left-hand turn (vehicular style); in that case, walk your bike across the street using the nearest crosswalk (pedestrian style).                                                                                            
    Diagram for the Methods of Turning Left as a Bicyclist
  2. Use two hands Ride with two hands on your bike at ALL times. Riding with one or no hands is unsafe and makes it difficult to stop quickly in the case of an emergency.
  3. Be patient Use patience when riding your bike, especially in heavy traffic. Don’t run red lights, weave through traffic or ride recklessly.
  1. Be Aware Be aware of your surroundings and practice defensive bicycling. If you do not use bike mirrors, make sure you have ample visibility over your shoulder. Leave your headphones in your backpack as they can lead to fatal accidents.

Photo Credit: Getty Images