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What steps can Sacramento bicyclists take to stay safe?

In our last post, we wrote about the tragic bicycle accident that recently occurred in Sacramento when a 55-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle on Freeport Boulevard near 35th Avenue.

According to reports, the bicyclist had been in the bike lane when he was struck. It’s unclear whether the driver of the vehicle had been following the state’s new law requiring motorists to give bicycle riders a 3-foot buffer area when passing.

Many people in Sacramento enjoy riding their bicycles as both a recreational activity and an alternative mode of transportation. For that reason, it’s important that all bicyclists know the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s tips for sharing the road safely.

The four main safety tips include:

Maintain control of your bicycle. In order to keep your bicycle under control, the bicycle should be the right size and adjusted to fit your body. Additionally, riding a bicycle under the influence of alcohol is against the law in California, so stay sober and alert.

Wear protective gear. A person on a bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle, which is why it’s extremely important to wear a helmet and other gear that can help protect you if an accident does occur. Under California law, all bicycle riders who are under 18 must wear a helmet while riding on a public road.

Let drivers see you. Unfortunately, many bicycle accidents occur because motorists do not see bicyclists, even though bicyclists aren’t doing anything wrong. That’s why it’s wise to take steps like wearing reflective clothing and installing a front light on the bicycle. It’s also wise to use hand signals when turning or stopping to let drivers know what you are doing.

Ride in the same direction as traffic. Riding with traffic makes bicyclists more visible to motorists because they know where to look to prevent possible collisions. Always ride on the ride side of the road, but not so far right that you might hit the curb. 

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