Bike Safety

Bike Safely and Live to Ride Another Day

Bicycling is one of the best ways to stay in shape, see the sights, save money on gas and reduce pollution. The benefits are well-known to cycling enthusiasts and local leaders nationwide who have created bike-friendly communities.

The Risks

For all the benefits of cycling, cyclists face a host of hazards. They often must share the road with vehicles, and injuries can happen even on a designated path.

The number of deaths from bicycle incidents has increased 29%, from 793 in 2010 to 1,024 in 2017, according to Injury Facts. Of the 1,024 bicyclist deaths in 2017, 679 died in motor vehicle crashes and 345 in other incidents. Bicycle-related deaths peak in the summer months and remain high through September.

With about 80 million bike riders sharing the road with millions of motorized vehicles, the importance of taking safety precautions cannot be overstated.

Use Your Head, Protect Your Noggin

When you consider the first body part to fly forward in a collision is usually the head, and with nothing but skin and bone to protect the brain, the results can be fatal. Helmets must meet federal safety standards and should fit securely. 

Follow These Rules to Keep Safe

  • Get acquainted with traffic laws; cyclists must follow the same rules as motorists
  • Know your bike's capabilities
  • Ride single-file in the direction of traffic, and watch for opening car doors and other hazards
  • Use hand signals when turning and use extra care at intersections
  • Never hitch onto cars
  • Before entering traffic, stop and look left, right, left again and over your shoulder
  • Wear bright clothing and ride during the day
  • If night riding can't be avoided, wear reflective clothing
  • Make sure the bike is equipped with reflectors on the rear, front, pedals and spokes
  • A horn or bell and a rear-view mirror, as well as a bright headlight, also is recommended

May is National Bike Month

During National Bike Month, cycling enthusiasts across the country celebrate the many benefits of cycling.

The League of American Bicyclists, which advocates for a "Bicycle Friendly America," sponsors Bike Month each year. The League's handy, 32-page National Bike Month Guide has everything you need to plan a Bike Month event in your community, including tons of ideas for activities. The League's Ride Smart program also is a great resource for educational videos, classes, tips and other information about bike safety. Learn more about Ride Smart here.

More Resources

  • Before You Ride

    ​This handy checklist created by the League of American Bicyclists spells out important bike maintenance you should perform before beginning any ride.

    Get the Checklist