There are a lot of great things about riding a bike: it is fun, good exercise, and a way to get from place to place that doesn’t pollute the environment. Still, the threat of being injured or killed while bicycling is a serious concern for many people. Bike riders can avoid being injured by learning how to safely share the road.
Bicycles are legally considered to be vehicles, and are therefore subject to most of the same traffic rules and regulations as cars and trucks. This includes obeying traffic lights and right of way rules. It is the responsibility of every cyclist to adhere to these laws as well as other safety guidelines. The minute a bicycle enters a pathway, a sidewalk, a park, a street or road, it is not a toy; it is a vehicle.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation offers the following safety tips to bicyclists when riding on the road:
NCDOT also offers the following safety tips to motorists when encountering bicyclists:
It is the state law in North Carolina for people under 16 years old to wear a helmet while riding a bike. There is good reason for this law because helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury in a bicycle crash by as much as 85 percent. Adults are not immune to head injury, so even though it isn’t the law, wearing a helmet is the best way to stay safe. The towns of Black Mountain and Boone, North Carolina have local ordinances that require everyone to wear a helmet while riding a bike.