Bicycle Safety Tips Before You Ride

Children riding bicycles

Data from the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analytics shows that there were 846 cyclist deaths in 2019, which accounted for about 2.4% percent of all traffic fatalities during the year.

Wear a helmet.
Always wear a helmet. Many states have laws that require bicyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet, but adult riders should wear them too. They can be purchased for a low price at a local bike shop or sporting goods store.

Obey the rules of the road.
Bicyclists have all of the same responsibilities as motorists. Obey all stop signs and traffic lights. Never ride against traffic.

Keep your bike in good working order.
Keep your bike working properly with routine maintenance. Check your brakes and tires every time before you ride.

Be visible.
Wear bright clothing and make sure your reflectors are attached properly. If riding at night, wear reflective clothing and be sure to use lights.

Do not use headphones.
Being able to hear vehicles, pedestrians and other bikers is important for your safety. Do not listen to headphones or talk on mobile phones while riding.

Bicycle Safety Inspection Checklist

Check all the boxes that apply when making your bicycle inspection and make any necessary adjustments before you ride.


  • Move sideways
  • Move front to back
  • Good condition

Saddle position

  • Too high
  • Too low
  • Too loose
  • Correct height
  • No movement


  • Low Pressure
  • Worn
  • Good condition

Front Fork

  • Bent
  • Cracked
  • Good condition

Hand brakes

  • Front pads worn
  • Levers need adjustment
  • Rear pads worn
  • Cable ends frayed
  • Cable ends capped
  • Brakes working correctly

Coaster foot brakes

  • Brakes not working
  • Brakes effective

Hand grips

  • Hand grips uncovered
  • Ends plugged and protected
  • Grips don't twist


  • Too big
  • Too small

Reflectors & lights

  • Front light missing
  • Rear red reflector missing
  • Reflector hanger bent
  • Good condition


  • Dirty
  • Rusty
  • Loose
  • Good condition

Quick release levers

  • Closed
  • Facing backward
Bicycle Safety Tips

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