Share the Road Safety Tips

Bicycle Traffic, Safety and Riding Tips

How to Run a Bicycle Rodeo

How to Ride in Traffic

Bicycle Life Commuter Guide

Teaching Children Bicycle Safety

According to the South Carolina Law: “every Person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the laws applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”

Cyclist – Sharing the Road

Ride on the right

  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Use the lane furthest to the right that heads in the direction that you are traveling
  • Slower moving cyclists and motorists stay to the right

On the road

  • The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists
  • Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs, lights, and lane markings
  • Always use hand signals to indicate your intention to stop or turn to motorists and cyclists

Always wear a properly fitting helmet

  • Make sure that the helmet fits on top of the head, not tipped back
  • Always wear a helmet while riding a bike, no matter how short the trip
  • After a crash or any impact that affects your helmet, visible or not, replace it immediately

Ride predictably

  • Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve in the road or between parked cars
  • Check for oncoming traffic before entering any street or intersection
  • Anticipate hazards and adjust position in traffic accordingly

Be visible

  • Wear brightly colored clothing at all times
  • At night, use a white front light, red rear light or reflector and reflective tape or clothing
  • Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there

Traffic Lights

Obey, obey, obey

  • Cyclists, just like motorists, must obey all traffic control devices
  • It takes longer to travel through an intersection on bike; plan to stop for yellow lights
  • Avoid cars that run red lights: wait for the signal to turn green; scan to make sure it’s clear


  • Bicycles must activate a vehicle detector just like a motor vehicle
  • Detectors are embedded in the roadway; look for squares cut into the roadway
  • Detectors use magnetic forces to pick up vehicles, not weight

Unresponsive signals

  • In most states, after two minutes, you can treat a red light as a stop sign
  • Pass through a red light only as a last resort
  • Yield to other vehicles while crossing the roadway

Turns and Turn Lanes

Positioning for turns

  • Before a turn: scan, signal and move into the lane that leads to your destination
  • Ride in the right third or middle of the lane, as lane width dictates
  • To traverse multiple lanes, move one at a time, scanning and signaling each move

Avoiding turn lanes

  • If your lane turns into a right turn only lane, change lanes before the intersection
  • Changing lanes too late could result in an overtaking motorist turning in front of you
  • Maintain a constant position relative to the curb or shoulder during a turn

Beware of blind spots

  • Most drivers do not always expect to see cyclists on the roadway
  • Do not ride next to another vehicle unless you are in a different lane or passing
  • If you can’t see bus, truck or car mirrors, drivers can’t see you


  • Signal well before the intersection; make sure you are in proper lane position
  • Left arm out and down with palm to the rear to indicate stopping
  • Left or right arm straight out to indicate left or right turn


  • Constant identification of potential hazards in front and behind as well as to each side
  • Scanning allows you to avoid dangerous situations before they happen
  • Scan for motorists, road conditions, pedestrians, animals, traffic signals

Motorist-Sharing the Road

Drive cautiously

  • Reduce speed when encountering cyclists
  • In inclement weather, give cyclists extra trailing and passing room
  • Recognize situations that may be potentially dangerous to cyclists and give them space

Yield to cyclists

  • Cyclists are considered vehicles and should be given the appropriate right of way
  • Cyclists may take the entire lane when hazards, road width or traffic speed dictate
  • Motorists should allow extra time for cyclists to traverse intersections

Be considerate

  • Scan for cyclists in traffic and at intersections
  • Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists
  • Look for cyclists when opening doors

Pass with care

  • Leave at least three feet of space between your car and a cyclist when passing
  • Wait until road and traffic conditions allow you to safely pass
  • Check over your shoulder after passing a cyclist before moving back to normal position

Watch for children

  • Children on bicycles are often unpredictable – expect the unexpected and slow down
  • Most children don’t have adequate knowledge of traffic laws
  • Children are harder to see because they are typically smaller than adults

Traffic Principles

Ride on the right

  • Always ride with the flow of traffic
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk
  • Allow yourself room to maneuver around roadway hazards

Yield to traffic in busier lanes

  • Roads with higher traffic volumes should be given right-of-way
  • Always use signals to indicate your intentions to switch lanes
  • Look behind you to indicate your desire to move and to make sure that you can

Yield to traffic in destination lane

  • Traffic in your destination lane has the right-of-way
  • Making eye contact with drivers lets them know that you see them
  • Signal and make your lane change early, before you need to

Directional Positioning

  • Position yourself in the right-most lane that goes in the direction of your destination
  • Ride in the right third of the lane
  • Avoid being overtaken in narrow-lane situations by riding in the right third of the lane

Cyclist should ALWAYS:

  • Carry proper identification, medical information and emergency contact information
  • Carry a cell phone
  • Carry plenty of water or other hydrating drink
  • Do not take the law into your own hands in a confrontational incident; phone police