Bicycling is a great way to exercise and have fun. It’s also an increasingly preferred mode of productive transportation, with cities and towns across the country carving out bike lanes as a way to relieve traffic congestion and reduce pollution.

Bicycles are also a responsibility. In most places, bikes are considered vehicles under the law, and are subject to many of the same traffic rules as cars.

What’s most important, however, is to ride safely.

In 2016 alone, 840 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes. That’s 2.2 percent of all traffic deaths. With more bicyclists on the road than ever, safety should be of the utmost concern. Especially, if you are taking time this summer to enjoy the road with your kids we want you to be prepared!

Click here to download our resource guide on this important topic.

This National Safety Month, let us share tips to get the most out of bicycling, while maximizing the potential for a safe, healthy experience.

1. Always take a minute to inspect your bike before setting out on a ride. It doesn’t take long and the benefits are worth it. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and that your brakes work. Make sure the bike is the right size. If it’s too big it will be harder to control.

2. Think it through. Plan your route as if you were taking a trip in a car. Choose times and routes with limited auto traffic. The safest ride will likely be on a designated bike path.

3. Always wear a helmet. Bicycling injuries of any sort are bad enough, but head injuries can be deadly – and avoided, for the most part, with a helmet. It’s just not worth the risk to go without a helmet.

4. Avoid riding at night. Bicycle accidents, injuries and worse, are much more likely to occur at night when it is more difficult to see. If you do choose to ride in low light or in the dark, wear clothing items that can easily be seen by cars. Also, place white reflectors and a headlight on the front of your bike, and red reflectors on the back.

5. Watch the road. Cars, trucks and foot traffic are one thing, but potholes, debris, puddles and broken glass are another. And there’s no such thing as a perfectly clean street. Be vigilant at all times. If riding with friends, shout and point at hazardous objects to alert them.

6. Teach children the rules of the road. It’s never too early to show children the fun of bicycling. Teach them traffic rules, show them how to be safe, and enjoy riding together for years to come.

We want you to get out there and enjoy what our great city has to offer! In fact, we might just see you out there as we are cycling with our families. As always, contact us with whatever questions you may have for yourself or your loved ones. We are your Tallahassee law firm.