Think Safety First When Cycling
You might have heard about the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety visiting our beautiful city during the first-ever Capital to Coast 2021 statewide bicycle safety tour. The tour offered safety tips, educational messages, and a daily ride for cyclists.
Cycling is one of the United States’ favorite pastimes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) designates May as National Bicycle Safety Month. However, in many areas, like The Landings with its moderate climate and remarkable scenery, cycling is an attractive option for both recreation and transportation all year long. Cyclists and motorists should keep the following tips in mind at all times.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
- Make sure you ride a bike that fits you and is well-maintained. Inspect your bike to ensure the tires are adequately inflated, and all the parts are secure and working correctly.
- Wear a snug-fitting helmet, reflective clothing for low-visibility conditions, and safety equipment such as reflectors, lights, and mirrors. Georgia law requires that any bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a helmet [O.C.G.A. §40-6-296(d)]. However, the National Safety Council recommends that everyone should wear a helmet, regardless of the length of the ride.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- In Georgia, bicycles are legally classified as vehicles, so obey street signs, signals, and road markings.
- Use your eyes and ears. Keep your head up and look ahead, left, and right. You need to see what is coming up to have enough time to react. Watch for potholes, dogs, broken glass, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. Do not use personal electronics while riding so you can listen for traffic.
- Pay attention to vehicles, pedestrians, and others on the road. Anticipate that others around you will do something careless. Be focused and vigilant to what is happening around you. Watch for parked cars, and ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected.
- Never assume that just because you see a driver or made eye contact with the driver that he or she sees you.
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Georgia law requires drivers to give a reasonable distance of at least three feet when overtaking a cyclist to pass and to maintain that distance until safely past the cyclist.
- Always be on the lookout for cyclists.
- Share the road. In Georgia, persons riding bicycles upon a roadway are allowed to ride two abreast (side-by-side).
- Know cyclists’ rights. For more information on Georgia law on bicycles, please visit the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (www.gahighwaysafety.org/campaigns/bicycle-and-pedestrian-safety/).