Bicycle Safety

Share the Open Road WideYoung people under the age of 17 are required to wear an approved helmet when cycling, roller skating, inline skating, or skateboarding.

The Division of Highway Traffic Safety assists county, municipal and law enforcement agencies with education, public awareness and enforcement of the bicycle helmet law and other bicycle safety issues.

Each year, bicyclists are killed or injured in New Jersey due to bicycle crashes. Many bicycle deaths result from bicycle-motor vehicle collisions. However, injuries can happen anywhere, including parks, bike paths and driveways, and often do not involve motor vehicles.

Head injury is the most serious injury type and the most common cause of death among bicyclists. The most severe injuries are those to the brain that cause permanent damage.

Safety Tips for Bicycle Riders

  • Obey all signals
  • Ride on the right
  • Ride with traffic
  • Avoid busy streets
  • Ride a properly sized bicycle
  • Ride within your abilities
  • Travel no more than two abreast when traffic is not impeded
  • Wear comfortable reflective clothing conducive to weather conditions (not too baggy)
  • Obey all traffic laws. In New Jersey, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles.

Helmet Tips for Bicycle Riders

Make sure the helmet fits properly and follow the following laws:

  • Buy a helmet that meets the safety standards of the American National Standards Institute or Snell Memorial Foundation
  • Always ensure a proper fit by tightening the chin strap to keep the helmet from slipping. Only two fingers should fit under the chin strap.
  • While the law requires anyone under the age of 17 to wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet, all riders are strongly encouraged to use one.
  • Wear an approved bicycle helmet.

Bicycle Maintenance

Make sure your bicycle fits you and is in good working order. Inspect the following before each ride to make sure your bicycle is in good working order:

  • Bell
  • Brakes
  • Chain
  • Lights
  • Reflectors
  • Seat height
  • Spare inner tube and tire levers/irons
  • Tires/wheels

Do Not

  • Attempt stunts or tricks
  • Carry loads unless equipped with proper baskets or panniers
  • "Hitch" rides by holding on to moving vehicles
  • Ride against traffic
  • Ride at night without lights
  • Ride with more people on the bike than it is designed to accommodate
  • Weave in and out of traffic, or between cars

Visit the State of New Jersey website for additional information regarding bicycle safety.