While most people may already know that commuter bikes are an affordable and effective way to get around, very few people are familiar with bicycle road rules. Minimizing the chances of accidents, the bikes rules of the road make cycling safer.
Depending on your area of residence, laws like safe helmet requirements and safe passing distance for vehicles do vary. However, universally accepted rules do exist. In this article, we will take a look at the rules that are accepted throughout the world.
10 Bicycle Road Rules You Should Know
1. Yield to Vehicles and Pedestrians Already on the Road
When approaching other bicycles or vehicles that have stopped or are traveling at a slower speed in front of your road bike, you should yield until it is 100% safe to pass. If there are pedestrians in front, you are required to yield to them too.
2. Ride Your Bike in the Same Direction as the Traffic’s Flow
In almost all instances, bikes rules of the road require cyclists to follow the same rules as vehicles. When riding your bike, you must travel in the same direction as cars.
If you reside in the United States, this will mean riding your aluminum road bike on the right side as well as utilizing the lane to your right-hand side as much as possible and as long it is safe to do so. If you do not live in the United States, you will need to ensure that you are riding on the same side as other vehicles.
3. Avoid Riding on the Sidewalk
While this rule may not be implemented in all parts of the world, it is always a good idea to follow it regardless of where you live. Riding on the sidewalk can create a dangerous situation for those on foot. It will also make you less visible to vehicles that are turning on the road. Bicycle-car accidents are more likely to occur if you ride on the sidewalk as opposed to operating your budget road bike on the actual road.
4. Obey Traffic Signs and Signals
Proceeding through red lights, rolling through clearly indicated stop signs, or entering crosswalks without a warning are all violations of bicycle road rules. To be safe and also improve the safety of other road users, you need to follow all the bikes rules of the road and obey traffic signals. Follow all the signs as you would when driving a car.
5. Yield Before You Move to the Left of the Lane
There are times you will need to move your steel road bike to the left-hand side of your lane to avoid obstacles or make a left turn. When doing so, do not just turn your road bike handlebars. Instead, yield to vehicles or other cyclists moving at a higher speed to avoid a collision. Keep moving in a straight line and only move to the left when it is safe to do so.
6. Use Hand Signals
One of the most important bicycle road rules, this rule requires you to alert other road users of your intentions. While vehicles will have brake lights and blinkers, cyclists will need to use cycling hand signals to let those around them know when they need to stop or make a turn. This helps improve safety.
7. Wear the Right Clothes
Though one of the most important bikes rules of the road, this rule is often ignored. You need to ensure that your bike helmet is of the right size and is securely fastened. Avoid biking wear that may get entangled in the wheel, chain, or obscure your lights. Wear reflective or fluorescent clothing to make yourself more visible in poor light.
8. Have Lights at Night
When riding at night, have a white light in the front and a red light in the rear. While flashing lights may be allowed in some locations, it is crucial that use a steady front lamp when riding in areas lacking street lights.
9. Pay Special Attention to Long Vehicles
These require a lot of room to maneuver, especially at corners. Keep in mind that the drivers may not see you. The vehicles may need to move over to the right before they start turning left.
Bikes rules of the road require cyclists to wait until the vehicles have completed their maneuvers because the back wheels can come too close to the curb while the vehicle is turning. Avoid the temptation to ride in the space existing between the curb and the vehicles.
10. Park Your Bike Correctly
Look for a conspicuous location where the bike is visible to passers-by. Use bicycle stands or other bike parking facilities whenever possible.
Avoid leaving your bike somewhere it could be a hazard or cause an obstruction. Secure the bike to keep it from falling and creating a hazard or obstruction.
Q: What Are the Rules of Cycling?
Cycling rules are designed to make roads safer for every user. Examples of cycling rules include:
- Cyclists must obey all traffic lights, signs, and signals.
- Avoid riding on the sidewalks.
- Wear clothes that make you visible in poor lighting.
Q: How Do You Ride A Bike on The Road?
To be safe while riding your bike on the road, you will need to master using hand signals. Alerting other users of your intentions will help you avoid car-bicycle accidents. Also, always yield to other users whenever necessary to avoid bumping into people and cars.
Q: Are Bicyclists Legally Allowed to Use the Road?
In almost every country, bikes are defined as “vehicles” under the law. This means that the laws allow bicycles to be lawfully operated on virtually all roads. However, it is worth noting that bicycles may not be allowed on some roads – these often include certain limited-access roads and freeways.
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Accidents are generally a result of some road users not following the road rules. Understanding bicycle road rules minimizes your risk of getting hurt when riding your bike. In this article, we have looked at 10 bikes rules of the road that are accepted globally.