On Friday, May 19, 2017, thousands of people will be hitting the roadways
on their bicycles to participate in National Bike to Work Day, an initiative
sponsored by the
League of American Bicyclists to encourage people use bicycles to commute to work. Coordinators in the
Washington D.C. region expect a tremendous crowd, and they’ve established
over 85 pit stops for bicyclists to enjoy food, drinks and prizes on their
way to work.
While bicycling is often encouraged as part of a healthy lifestyle, commuting
to work on the streets and roadways naturally comes with an increased
risk of accidents. If you're planning to participate in Bike to Work
Day this year—and/or to “live the mission” by cycling
regularly—stay safe by following these tips:
Plan your route beforehand. Consider doing a practice run during a time with less traffic on the road.
If possible, look for wider roadways with bike lanes and/or light traffic.
Dress for visibility. Wear bright colors if possible. If you
register at the DC site and get to a pit stop early, you can pick up an official t-shirt.
Join a commuter convoy. Numerous convoys are forming throughout the DC area. They are free to join,
and statistically speaking, cyclists traveling together are much safer.
Click here to find a starting point near you.
Follow traffic rules. The rules of the road are the same for bicyclists as they are for drivers.
Learn the hand signals for turning and stopping, and use them. Observe
all stop signs and traffic signals. Don’t cross an intersection
against the light.
Don't be in a hurry. Be mindful that, in general, it will take you longer to get to work on
a bicycle—potentially substantially longer. Plan ahead accordingly.
If you do run late, avoid the temptation to ignore the rules we’ve
discussed in a mad dash for efficiency. The client can wait. Your boss
can wait. Better to arrive at work late than not at all.
For more bicycle safety information, check out our related post,
Bicycle Safety Means More than Wearing a Helmet.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a bicycle or other vehicle, our
Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help. Call our office for more information.