Five Things To Know Before Hopping on Two Wheels

July 12, 2018 7:34 am

Thanks to B-Cycle, rental bikes, and rental scooters, getting around Charlotte without a car has never been easier! Riding a bike or scooter around is both fun and convenient, but it can also be intimidating when you don’t know the rules of the road. Many of these rules are also laws, which Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Sergeant Jesse Wood emphasizes are all to help people get where they’re going as safely as possible.

 

Here are five quick tips to get you ready for your next trip on a bicycle or scooter:

Wear a Helmet

Yeah, you’ve heard this one before, but for good reason. If someone does fall or end up in a collision, a helmet can significantly reduced their injuries. Plus, wearing a helmet isn’t just smart for safety, it’s also economical with Bicycle Benefits, a sticker that you can slap on your helmet to receive discounts at over 20 South End businesses.

 

You’re a Car

“A bicycle is considered the same as a vehicle,” says Sergeant Wood. “That includes stop signs, other signage and impaired driving.” For adults riding bikes, that means riding on the road or designated trails, riding with the flow of traffic on roads, and stopping whenever a car is required to stop.

 

Use Hand Signal

Just as cars use turn signals to show other drivers where they’re going, cyclists use hand signals to indicate the direction they’re headed. Each time you turn or stop, let drivers know by using your left arm to signal.

 

Be Seen

“Make sure you’re as visible as possible,” says Sergeant Wood. “We have a program in the police department where we give out lights, headlights and taillights for bicycles.” Along with lights, brightly colored or reflective clothing can help you be seen by drivers.

 

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

“The biggest thing is to recognize that you’re on a bicycle,” Sergeant Wood shares. Riding a bicycle or scooter takes an extra level of precaution from driving because you don’t have the exterior of a car to protect you and can oftentimes find yourself in unfamiliar situations.

More information about bicycle and pedestrian safety can be found at Watch for Me NC, a statewide initiative to reduce the number of accidents occurring with cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles.

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