Summer is in full swing, hopefully you are riding some! These Smart Cycling videos will help you understand how to ride safely, improve comfort, and your rights as a bicyclist.

A bike lane is a striped and signed lane that provides a dedicated space on the road for people on bikes. They should be used the same as any other travel lane, so follow the same rules of the road.

Things to look out for:
•    Parked cars.  Be sure you ride far enough over to stay clear of an opening car door
•    Vehicles that are turning right without a signal

Even if your community has a law that says you have to ride in a bike lane, there are exceptions:
•    Making a left turn
•    Passing another bicyclist
•    Going around hazards

As with any other lane changes, be sure to first scan, signal and yield.

Since most crashes happen at intersections, be sure to reduce your risk by being visible, positioning yourself clearly on the road, and making eye contact with other drivers.

When you are coming up to a multi-lane intersection, you will want to be in the right-most lane that is traveling in the direction you are going. Where you are within the lane depends on the intersection.

Changing lanes in traffic can be challenging. Here’s how you can change lanes with confidence:

  • Plan ahead, anticipate where you are going to need to be on the road
  • Look behind you, possibly several times
  • Signal where you are going
  • Act carefully, smoothly and deliberately

In all 50 states, people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers.

Here are a few key principles that underpin all US traffic laws:

First Come, First Served
Everyone on the road is entitled to the lane width they need. This includes the space behind, to each side and the space in front. If you want to use someone else’s space you must yield to whoever is using it.

Ride on the Right
In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway.

Yielding to Crossing Traffic
When you come to an intersection, if you don’t have the right of way, you must yield.

Yielding when Changing Lanes
If you want to change lanes, you must yield to traffic that is in your new lane of travel.

Speed Positioning
The slowest vehicles on the road should be the furthest to the right. Where you position yourself on the road depends on the location of any parked cars, your speed, and your destination. Always pass on the left.

Lane Positioning
Bikes can share the same lane with other drivers. If a lane is wide enough to share with another vehicle (about 14 feet), ride three feet to the right of traffic. If the lane is not wide enough to share, “take the lane” by riding in the middle.

Intersection positioning
When there is a lane that is used for more than one direction, use the rightmost lane going in the direction you are traveling.

Follow all street signs, signals, and markings

 

More videos at http://www.bikeleague.org/ridesmartvideos

 

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