There are more than 90 BCycle stations across the city, where Houstonians can rent out a bike to test out routes and explore Houston. If you decide to pedal around town, follow these safety tips…
Safety Tips For Bicyclists
Thousands of Houston-Galveston area residents are expected to pedal their way into National Bike Month this month, as the region is experiencing a 65 percent spike in ridership, according to BCycle. With more bicyclists sharing the road, the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), which oversees regional transportation safety, is sharing important safety tips with drivers and bicyclists.
“Our latest data shows that 54% of bicycle crashes in 2016 happened on city streets where motorists and bicyclist encounter one another,” H-GAC Transportation Planner Clint McManis said. “It’s critical for bicyclists and motorists to know the rules of the road to avoid fatalities.”
Regional drivers should keep these key safety tips in mind when encountering a bicyclist on the roadways:
- Safely reduce your speed when approaching a bicyclist.
- Do not pass a bicyclist if the lane is too narrow, especially if there is oncoming traffic.
- Drivers are required to give 3 feet of clearance when passing a bicycle.
- Be extra cautious of children biking, as they may be less alert or unpredictable
Bicyclists should keep the following key tips in mind when commuting and sharing the road with motorists:
- Obey all traffic laws. Stop at red lights and stop signs.
- Ride in the right lane unless you are signaling to make a left turn. Give yourself enough room to avoid car doors and debris.
- Use hand gestures in advance of turning or changing lanes.
- Always wear a bike helmet and reflective, bright colored clothing, and use a bike light at night.
- Before each ride, give your bike a quick ABC check (air pressure in your tires, breaks and chains).
For biking guidance and tips, BikeHouston offers bike maintenance classes and one-on-one riding classes. Their website is a resource for bike maps, safety tips and community riding events.