Saturday, January 16, 2010

Safety Tips

Important Safety Reminders for Bicyclists
• All bicyclists should wear properly fitted bicycle helmets every time they ride. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.
• Bicyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings. When cycling in the street, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic.
• Bicyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, dawn, and dusk. Florida law requires that when riding at night, use a white front light and a red rear light; also recommended are reflectors and retro-reflective tape or markings on equipment or clothing.

Important Safety Reminders for Pedestrians
• When possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk. Always stop and look left, right, and left again before crossing. If a parked vehicle is blocking the view of the street, stop at the edge line of the vehicle and look around it before entering the street.
• Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing that helps to highlight body movement.
• Florida law requires that, if one is present, you must walk on a sidewalk. If you must walk in the street, walk facing traffic.

Important Safety Reminders for Drivers
• Drivers of motor vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists. Be courteous ― allow at least three feet clearance when passing a bicyclist on the road; look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space; and yield to cyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals. Be especially watchful for cyclists when making turns, either left or right.
• Drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing streets in marked or unmarked crosswalks in most situations (by law all intersections have crosswalks, marked or not, that require motorists to stop/yield to pedestrians or cyclists). Pedestrian are frequently put at risk at intersections when drivers are turning onto another street and do not stop/yield as required.

PRIMARY SOURCE: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis

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