|Ride safely when you bike on the Fermilab site. Photo: Reidar Hahn|
May is National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to give biking a try.
The Chicago Tribune recently noted that crash statistics show that people — both bicyclists and motorists — aren’t as well acquainted with the bicycle rules of the road as they should be. The article reads, in part:
Crash statistics, on the other hand bear the grim reality that every day, too many people — on four wheels, two wheels or on foot — put themselves and others at risk because of misconceptions about the rules of the road or simply the belief that what you don’t know won’t hurt you.
Many bicyclists, for instance, think they are safer staying close to the curb in a narrow traffic lane, but such behavior just invites drivers to try to squeeze by dangerously, experts say.
On streets that are marked with bicycle lanes, the experts also say, a common mistake by motorists preparing to turn right at intersections is the tendency to merge right instead of first yielding and judging the speed of bicyclists in the bike lane, then completing the turn.
The Tribune also posted a fun and informative quiz on bicycle safety, which you can take online.
Participants are encouraged by the ESH&Q Section to send in their certificates of quiz completion to Mail Station 119, bring them to the ESH&Q section, or send them through the Take Five Submit a Question/Suggestion box for a chance to win an ESH&Q gift certificate.
Whether you bike to work or school, ride to save money or time, pedal to preserve your health or the environment, or ride to explore your community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons that so many people ride. When you pump those pedals, do so safely.