Bicycling Safety

Bicyclists on road path

Bells are Good, Brakes are Better, Riding on the Right is Best

If You Ride at Night Arizona Law requires those riding a bike to have:

  • a white headlight visible from at least 500 feet
  • a red rear reflector visible from 50 to 300 feet

A bicycle may also have a red tail light visible from 500 feet (blinking tail lights are eye-catching). You may want to consider wearing a reflective vest or reflective tape on your helmet or clothes.


Be Safe, Bike Smart

To be safe and avoid accidents, bicyclists should ride with traffic and be aware of hazards, cars, and people around them. Bike smart and follow these safety tips for biking in Arizona:

  • Ride on the right - Always ride with the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic is dangerous.
  • Ride predictably - Follow the same rules motorists do, and travel in a straight line without swerving.
  • Obey traffic control devices (signs, signals, lane markings) - Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
  • Protect your head - Always wear a helmet, even on the shortest trips.
  • Follow lane markings - Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't ride straight in a lane marked Right-Turn Only.
  • Ride correctly through intersections - Use the right-most lane that goes in your direction. If you're heading straight, get in the through lane, not to the right of a right-turning vehicle.
  • Signal before you move or stop - Hand signals let drivers and others know what you intend to do.
  • Enter streets and intersections cautiously - Always check for oncoming traffic.
  • Ride defensively on the road - Anticipate hazards and be ready to adjust your position in traffic.
  • Don't ride on the sidewalk - Many people consider sidewalks a safe place to ride because cars don't travel on them. Unfortunately, sidewalks aren't safe. Stay off them, except where you have no choice. Trees, hedges, parked cars, buildings and doorways create blindspots along a sidewalk, which is too narrow to allow you to swerve out of the way if someone appears. A pedestrian on the sidewalk can sidestep suddenly, or a small child can run out from behind an adult. Never pass a pedestrian until you have his or her attention. And cars do use sidewalks - at every driveway and cross street. Since there are no clear rules for travel on a sidewalk, your only choice is to ride very slowly and look in all directions before crossing a driveway or street
  • Be visible and be seen - Wear bright colors to increase your visibility and make eye contact with drivers.
  • Look behind you - Know how to look over your shoulder and not swerve or lose balance. Rear-view mirrors are an option.
  • Learn more about Avoiding Motorist Errors
  • Everything on your bike should be properly adjusted and in good working condition. Keep a well maintained bike and conduct the ABC Quick Check before you ride as recommended by the League of American Bicyclists.