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SAFE BICYCLING IN IOWA: Tips for cyclists and motorists to prevent accidents

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – As the weather continues to improve, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing more cyclists on the road and on the trails.

According to Bike Iowa, last year, 12 cyclists were killed. Three were from the Cedar Valley. This year, four have been killed.

Roger White is an avid cyclist and the treasurer of Cedar Valley Cyclists. He gave safety tips for both cyclists and motorists.

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet. White said you should fit no more than two fingers above your eye and no more than two fingers under your strap.
  • Wear bright colors during all times of the day.
  • Equip your bike or helmet with a rearview mirror.
  • When you’re riding, follow the rules of the road and obey traffic signs and signals. Ride on the right side of the road and pass on the left. Never ride against traffic.
  • Make eye contact with motorists. Never assume someone sees you.
  • Use caution at intersections.
  • Use hand signals: right arm stretched out to signal a right turn, left arm stretched out to signal a left turn and left arm bent and pointed down to signal stopping or slowing.
  • If you ride at night, Iowa law requires your bike has a white light on the front and a red light or reflector on the back.
  • Ride at a safe speed.
  • While on the trails, verbally announce when you’re passing another cyclist, runner or pedestrian. Many times, people have headphones in, so White said you may need to yell and use a bell. For example: “Passing on your left.”
  • Put away distractions. White said he believes distracted driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence.
  • Give cyclists plenty of room. They often have to swerve and adjust to road conditions. White said the cycling community recommends a full-lane pass into the left lane when getting around cyclists.
  • Do not honk at cyclists. This may cause them to lose control.
  • Be careful when opening your car door.
  • When in doubt, yield to bicycles.
Author Profile Photo

Olivia Schmitt

Morning Anchor

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