Tips for bicycling safely at UC Berkeley

If you attend UC Berkeley, chances are you use a bike, skateboard or scooter to get around campus. These are much faster and convenient modes of transportation than simply walking. With a bicycle, activities such as getting from class to class, going to work and grabbing a bite to eat are easy. 

Thankfully, Berkeley has a great campus for biking. It even won an award for being so bike-friendly. But do not assume you are completely safe on your rides. There are still negligent drivers and hazardous conditions to avoid. Here are some ways you can maximize your safety as a UC Berkeley cyclist.

Be distraction-free

As a college student, you probably use your phone for everything, including keeping up with current events, chatting with friends and listening to music. As convenient as your smartphone is, it is best to leave it alone during your rides. Even if you know your route like the back of your hand, keep the headphones out of your ears and the phone out of your hand. Do not attempt to drink a cup of coffee or do some last-minute reading before class while cycling either.

Assume others do not see you

While you may want to see the best in people, it is a fact that not everyone will notice you on your bike. Always be a defensive and alert cyclist. Remember to look ahead and use your hand signals. 

Wear a helmet

No matter how much bicycling experience you have, you are never too good to not wear a helmet. A helmet will reduce your risk of sustaining a severe brain injury if a car hits you. You may not be able to control how safe motorists are, but you can safeguard your well-being as much as possible by wearing the necessary safety gear. Even just a five-minute ride to class requires a helmet.

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