DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - May is Bicycle safety month and area officers want not only bike riders but also those that drive near them to stay safe.
On Thursday, the Decatur Police Department released some helpful tips to safe on and around bikes as the weather gets nicer outdoors.
- Always wear a helmet. Regardless of trip length, your helmet is a must-have for any excursion. If you have children, make sure that their helmets fit properly. Videos showing proper helmet fit are a great reference.
- Obey the rules of the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reiterates that bikes must follow the same street signs, traffic signals, and road markings as vehicles do. Bikes should travel in the same direction as traffic.
- Stay visible. Wear bright, easily-seen clothing. Install a light on your bike for drivers to see. The National Safety Council advises that bikers avoid riding at night.
- Minimize distractions. Just like drivers, those on bicycles should never text or listen to headphones while traveling.
- Drive slowly. Reducing speed in residential areas is absolutely crucial. Children on bikes might not be visible while moving through neighborhoods. According to the nonprofit Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 9,000 children receive medical attention for injuries sustained in and around vehicles without supervision.
- Give bicycles plenty of space. To ensure that those on bicycles have plenty of time and space to react, slow down and increase your following distance.
- Stay alert. Expect the unexpected, especially in areas of high traffic. Always look twice before turning or proceeding through a light to give bikers still crossing a chance to clear the immediate area.