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     Bicycling is tremendously popular in the United States as a mode of transportation, a sport and a way to improve individual health through excercise.  According to the National Safety Council, more than 57 million Americans ride a bicycle on a regular basis.
     Because many of these bicyclists share the roadways with motor vehicles, the rules of defensive driving apply to cyclists as well as motorists.  The road can be a dangerous place for young and old cyclists.  In 2005, 1,000 bicyclists died after being struck by a motor vehicle and 51,000 suffered disabling injuries.
     According to the National Safety Council, cyclists should take the following precautions when venturing onto a roadway:



* Obey traffic rules!  Did you know that
bicyclists must obey most of the same laws as motorists...including stopping for red lights and being on the right side of the road.

*  Practice safe turning by using hand signals.  Cross through intersections with caution.

*  Always be visible!  Wear bright clothing...even during the day.  Operating a bicycle on the road at night is NOT advised.  If it must be done, wear retro-reflective clothing.

*  Ride in single file, with traffic...not against it.  You should stay as far to the right of the roadway as possible.  Keep a safe distance from all vehicles.

*  Watch for hazards.  Opening car doors, left turning vehicles, storm drain gratings, broken glass and other debris can ruin a great bike ride.

*  Safety equipment!  All bicycles should have a red reflector on the rear and a white reflector on the front.  Reflectors should also be present on the spokes of each tire and on each of the pedals.  A horn or bell combined with a rearview mirror also enhance safety.  Lastly, check your tire pressure, brakes and chain to make sure they are in good working order.

*  WEAR A HELMET!!!  Regardless of your age!  Head injuries cause about 85% of all bicycling fatalities.

             Get additional tips from your friend...




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