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Bike Safety

Biking is a great way to get around and keep healthy, but it's important to be safe. Remember, bikes have to follow the same signs and rules as cars.

  • Keep your bike in good working condition. Make sure your tires have the right amount of air, handle bars should be tight in place, chains should not be rusty and the brakes should work smoothly.

  • Always wear a helmet. This can help prevent serious head injuries and save your life.

  • If there are no sidewalks or bike paths, choose wide streets. Ride on a street whose outside lane is so wide that it can easily fit a car and a bike side by side. That way a car may zoom by you and avoid hitting you even if they don't see you. Leave at least 3 feet of distance when passing parked cars to avoid getting hit if the door opens.

  • Choose slow streets. The slower a car is going, the more time the driver has to see you. Learn your neighborhoods.

  • Get a mirror and use it. If it appears a car doesn't see you, you can hop off your bike and onto the sidewalk or roadside.

  • Don't ride against traffic ~ ride with traffic in the same direction. Here's why. Cars pulling out of driveways, parking lots and cross streets and turning right, are not expecting traffic to be coming the wrong way. They won't see you and could run right into you. Over 70% of car-bicycle crashes occur at driveways or other intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic.

  • Make sure you can be seen while riding your bike. During the day, wear bright colors. Avoid riding at night ~ but if you do you should absolutely use a front headlight. Also wear reflective tape and white or light colored clothing and ride only in areas familiar to you.

  • Stay alert at all times. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, drainage grates or anything that could make you fall. Use special care on bridges.

  • Never wear headphones while riding as they impair your ability to hear traffic.

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More Pathway Information and Safety Tips

For additional tips please contact Cinda Seamon, Fire & Life Safety Educatoremail icon, Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue, 843-682-5141.