Act like a car! While not every rider feels comfortable on the road at first, a bicycle is a vehicle on the road and traveling with traffic, as a car, is safest.
Ride on the road, in the same direction as traffic, in the far right travel lane, leaving 2 to 3 feet between you and the edge of the pavement or curb.
Follow all traffic signs, signals, and rules when at an intersection. Ride in the right-most lane traveling in your direction (if you plan to go straight, do not stay in a right-turn only lane, carefully move into the lane that will allow you to go straight as you approach the intersection). When turning left at an intersection, use the left travel lane or left-only turn lane, when provided.
Stay to the right if riding on a trail or shared-use path. Courteously pass walkers, joggers, or other bicyclists by moving to the left of them and saying “On your left” as you approach.
Always, always, always wear a helmet and ensure that any children with you do too. The helmet should fit tightly on your head and under your chin to fully protect you. If you aren’t sure about the fit, ask a bike store professional to show you how.
Wear bright clothing, reflective vests, and use bike reflectors to make sure drivers can easily see you.
Watch for debris and hazards in your path, even if you’re riding in a marked bike lane. Drainage grates, uneven asphalt, and tire and metal scraps can be difficult to bike through or around. Remember that drivers will not notice these things as a hazard and so will not be expecting you to react. Look ahead and plan for obstacles to avoid making unexpected, sporadic movements.
Use hand signals every time you turn or change lanes. It is extremely important to communicate clearly with drivers, so that they know what to expect and can determine how best to respond.
Ride against traffic. This is extremely dangerous, decreasing the likelihood of drivers seeing you and increasing the risk of a fatal collision.
Bob in and out of parked cars or other intermittent lane barriers. It is safer to ride in a consistent, straight path along with traffic, than to make unexpected shifts in and out of spaces.
Ride on sidewalks. This puts a rider at the enormous risk of being hit by a car that is entering or exiting a parking lot, approaching stop signs or traffic lights, or turning onto or off of side streets.
Ride at night, unless absolutely necessary. If you do, always use a light and exercise extreme caution.