Cycling can be a great source of exercise and a fun and efficient way to travel, but consider your safety. A study by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future looked at drivers’ behavior around cyclists on Maryland roads with and without bike lanes. The good news is that drivers pass significantly wider when cyclists are in bike lanes, but the bad news is on roads without bike lanes, drivers had trouble sharing the road with cyclists, which often violates a state law aimed at making cycling safer.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 51,000 pedal cyclists were injured in the U.S. in 2009. Of those injured, 17 percent were children under 14.
Here are some tips to prevent injuries.
Always wear a helmet while riding. Make sure the helmet fits snug on your head with the chinstrap fastened.
Parents should supervise young children and instruct them on safe places to ride a bicycle.
Adult bicyclists must follow the same road rules as motor vehicles. Obey stop signs and look both ways before entering an intersection.
Wear bright-colored clothing and equip your bicycle so motorists can see you.
Be aware of traffic around you and make eye contact with motorists.
Be predictable and check behind you for traffic before swerving, turning, or changing lanes.
Every Monday, the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project, part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, offers tips for preventing disease and injury, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check back each week for new tips or visit our archive.