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Safety Tips for Riding a Bicycle

Wear a Helmet

Always wear a properly fitted Consumer Product Safety Commission--approved helmet when riding your bike. Never leave the straps unfastened, tip the helmet back to expose your forehead or wear a hat underneath your helmet. Get a new helmet if you've been in a wreck.

Wear Proper Attire

Don't wear loose pants that can get caught in your bicycle chain. Always wear sneakers that allow your feet to grip the pedal. Don't bicycle in sandals or high heels. Don't listen to music while biking, because it could distract you from the sounds of traffic.

Check Your Brakes

Check your brakes at the beginning of each ride. In addition, check your tire pressure and bicycle chain on a regular basis.

Avoid Common Hazards

Watch out for common hazards on roads and paths, such as puddles, wet leaves, curbs, storm grates and gravel. In addition, watch for and be courteous of pedestrians, children and other bicyclists.

Follow Road Rules

If you ride your bike on the street -- and many municipalities require you to stay off sidewalks -- ride with traffic and obey traffic laws and signs, such as stop signs and lane markings. Never ride against traffic. Ride in bike lanes, if possible. Use hand signals to indicate when you are going to turn or stop and always yield to traffic when turning onto roads.

Avoid Night Riding

Don't ride your bike at night, if possible, because you are much less visible to drivers at night. If you must ride at night, make sure you have a light and your bike has reflectors on the front, back and tires. If possible, wear clothing that has reflectors.

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