The weather is nice outdoors once again, so if your bicycle has been stored away collecting dust, now is a great time to inspect it and ride for pleasure and exercise.

However, just like any sport or transportation method, you must practice safety and know the rules of the road.

Statistics show that bicyclists make up 2% of traffic deaths and 2% of all crash-related injuries. Remember, when you are operating a bike on the road, you are the driver and must adhere to the traffic laws.

To help prevent tragic accidents from happening, always ride with the flow of traffic, know the proper hand signals, and always make eye contact with other motorists when crossing an intersection.

It is important that you can see others and are being seen on the road, especially at night. Studies show that bicyclist deaths occur most often between 6 and 9 p.m. and occur most commonly in urban areas.

You may be able to see the vehicles, but those driving them may not be able to see you. Always wear reflective clothing or colors that stand out, but avoid white. Research has shown wearing white does not allow you to be seen on the road. Wear reflective tape on your body and your bike to reflect light.

Kentucky law states bicyclists must have a light on while riding bikes at night, and the light must cast a 50-feet beam ahead.

Check your bicycle before riding it to make sure everything is working properly.

It's as easy as A-B-C: Inspect your air, brakes and chain. This simple five-minute task can go a long way.

Helmets are highly recommended for children and adult bicyclists to help prevent head injuries in the event of a fall.

Source: Tanya Dvorak, Principal Extension Specialist

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