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Bicycle Safety

There is no better way to get fresh air, exercise, save money on gas and reduce your carbon footprint than by biking. With clearer skies and warmer weather, more bicyclists are sure to be out on the road.

Safety must be a priority. Biking, like driving a car or riding a motorcycle, comes with responsibility. Unexpected dangers may arise, so it is crucial that bicyclists pay close attention to traffic signs, signals and follow all rules to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision.

May is Bike Month, but bicycle safety is not limited to just one month. Here are some safety tips for when you’re riding your bicycle:

  • Wear a properly-fitted helmet. By law, bicycle riders under 18 years old must wear a helmet when biking on a public road.
  • Ensure your bicycle is the right size and fit for you. Properly adjusted and fitted bikes can be more comfortable and easier to control.
  • Inspect your bicycle regularly. Make sure your brakes are functioning and tires are properly inflated before every ride.
  • Use hand signals before making turns or changing lanes. Reduce the risk of collision by informing traffic around you about your intentions.BikeHandSignal.PNG
  • Wear bright-colored, reflective clothing. When riding at night, reflective clothing can help others on the road spot you.
  • Ride in a safe lane position. Ride in the same direction as traffic and be predictable. Ride in a straight line.
  • Stay alert at all times. Always ride sober and avoid using electronic devices. If using earbuds, only keep one in your ear—it is illegal to wear headphones or both earbuds while biking. Watch for road hazards such as glass, potholes, gravel and other unsafe road conditions that can make you lose control of your bicycle.

Lastly, always share the road! Safety is everyone’s responsibility, regardless of how we get around.

A Car’s Dashboard Is No Resting Place

Sitting back, putting your feet up and getting a little too comfy in the car? It might sound like a relaxing way to spend a road trip, but it is extremely dangerous.

A dashboard typically houses airbags, right where passengers tend to rest their feet or legs. During a collision, airbags inflate in less than 1/20th of a second—at a speed of up to 200 miles per hour! Even if you have quick reflexes, collisions often leave you little to no time to react or reposition your legs. Can you imagine your feet, knees or legs flying at full force toward your face by a rapidly inflating airbag? Yikes!

Put your feet down. And keep them there! Just because there are no laws prohibiting the placement of feet or legs on a dashboard, doesn’t mean you should do it. There are too many horror stories about serious injuries happening to people who had their feet or legs on the dashboard during a collision. We strongly urge you to break the habit before it’s too late.

To avoid airbag-related injuries, make sure you are properly seated and always wear a seat belt, and try to sit at least 10 inches away from the airbag cover.

Boy's feet on dash of moving car.

5 Safety Tips for Senior Drivers

Family Driving.jpg
Mobility is a quality of life issue and driving is a key part of seniors staying mobile, independent and socially active. It is important for drivers of all ages to drive safely from the time they earn their driver license to the time they retire it. Safe driving involves good vision, quick reflexes, joint flexibility and muscle strength. All these components are important to ensure drivers can judge distances, quickly spot troubles and react appropriately.

Here are 5 safety tips we’ve come up with for senior drivers:

  1. Make sure your car is the right fit for you. That means being able to see over the steering wheel, reach the brake and accelerator comfortably, and get in and out of your vehicle with ease. If your vehicle isn’t the proper fit for you, don’t worry. You can install adaptive features and devices to help make your car more comfortable and safe for you to drive.
  2. Get a restricted driver license. Restrictions to your driving privilege are not punitive; they are intended to help you drive safer and longer. Restrictions are based on conditions, not age. Restrictions may include limiting when and where you may drive, such as staying off the freeway, not driving during rush hour traffic and only driving during daylight hours.
  3. Keep up your health! Have your vision and hearing checked by your physician, and exercise regularly. You need to see clearly, judge distances and hear horns and sirens when you drive. Staying active ensures you maintain muscle strength and flexibility, which can help with turning the steering wheel or looking over your shoulder.
  4. Plan your trip out before you head out the door. Find the safest, smoothest routes before leaving to your destination, so you don’t find yourself stressed or lost while driving.
  5. Enroll in a driving course to update and refresh your driving skills and knowledge of the “rules of the road”. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop driving! Improve your defensive driving techniques at a Mature Driver Improvement Course.

In addition to these tips, all drivers of any age should avoid distractions while driving, always wear their seat belt and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking prescription and over the counter medications that can impair their driving.

If you are worried that someone you know may no longer be driving safely, submit a Request for Driver Reexamination (PDF). The form is confidential.

For more tips on safe driving for older adults, read our Senior Guide for Safe Driving handbook.

For additional resources, questions or for assistance contact your local Senior Driver Ombudsmen.