Tips to keep rolling along safely

  • Published
  • By Eric T. Hoehn
  • 88th Air Base Wing Safety Office

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- One of the best ways to get out and enjoy the warmer weather is to go on a nice bike ride. However, bicycling can also be dangerous.

Here are a few tips to help keep you safe and make sure your next bicycle ride doesn’t end with you riding in an ambulance.

Light up and be seen

Every bicycle in use from sunset to sunrise, and at any other time when there are unfavorable atmospheric conditions or insufficient natural light, should be equipped with:

  • A lamp mounted on the front of either the bicycle or the operator that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and 300 feet to the sides.
  • A red reflector on the rear that’s visible from distances up to 600 feet when directly in front of lawful lower headlight beams on a motor vehicle.
  • A lamp emitting either flashing or steady red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear, in addition to the red reflector. If the red lamp performs as a reflector in that it is visible as specified above, it may serve as the reflector and a separate reflector is not required.
  • Bicyclists must wear retro-reflective, high-visibility outer garments.

Signal your turns

You’re less likely to get hit when your movement doesn’t take motorists by surprise. Let them know you’re about to turn or move left or right by signaling with your arm. Point your left arm out to move left, and point your right arm out to move right.

(You might have learned an old way of signaling a right turn with your left arm, but most drivers have no idea what that means, so it’s not as effective. Signal with the arm of the direction you want to turn).

Before signaling, be sure to check behind you since a car passing too closely can hit your arm.

Wear a helmet

All individuals who ride a bicycle, tricycle, other human-powered vehicles or motorized bicycles on an Air Force installation in a traffic environment must wear a properly fastened and approved bicycle helmet (for example, Consumer Product Safety Commission, ANSI, Snell Memorial Foundation or host-nation equivalent).

For more information about bicycle use on Wright Patterson Air Force Base, contact the 88th Air Base Wing’s Ground Safety Office at 937-904-0888.