Bicycle Safety Tips

Whether you ride a bike, walk, or drive a car, it's important to know how to use our street system to ensure everyone's safety. More people of all ages are using their bicycles for transportation and recreation than ever before.

As a cyclist, you must be aware of your rights and responsibilities under the law. As a motorist, you should always be aware of these laws and how to interact with cyclists. Understanding your role in our multimodal street system and obeying the laws will help make Southern Miss a bicycle-friendly community.

Safety Tips for Cycling on Southern Miss' campus.

  • Practice Defensive Cycling
    Ride defensively and expect the unexpected. Pass with care. Watch for vehicles turning into your path, and never assume you know what a driver intends to do.
  • Watch for Hazards
    Regularly scan the roadway for cars, pedestrians, and unexpected hazards such as potholes, glass, and roadside trees that limit visibility. Ride at least two feet from the road edge to avoid debris and allow space to maneuver.
  • Keep Control of Your Bicycle
    Keeping both hands on the handlebars allows you to make quick turns and stops. In rain, allow three times the normal distance to stop.
  • Use Common Sense
    Do not put your life or the lives of others in danger with careless riding. It's not worth it. Remember, no matter who is at fault in an accident, the bicyclist always loses.
  • Always Wear a Helmet
    A helmet does four things for you: makes you more visible, keeps your head cooler in the sun, helps gain motorists' respect; and most importantly, it protects your head.
  • Use Lights at Night
    Using a white headlight and rear reflector at night always makes the cyclist more visible. Adding a taillight or amber reflector is also advisable. For extra visibility, wear light-colored clothes with reflective tape.
  • Obey Traffic Signs, Signals, and Laws
    Bicyclists must operate their bicycles like drivers of motor vehicles. Obeying laws helps you being taken seriously by drivers.
  • Lock Your Bike When You're Gone
    Lock your bike with a U-shaped lock or a strong cable or hardened chain. Lock to an immovable object such as a bike rack, putting the lock or cable through both wheels and frame.
  • Use Hand Signals
    Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of courtesy and protection.
  • Ride on the Right with Traffic
    Ride with traffic. Motorists aren't looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the roadway. Bicycling on the wrong side is particularly dangerous at intersections, roadway curves, and on the crest of hills.
  • Turning Left
    Bicyclists can make a left turn by
    1) Signaling, yielding to traffic, moving into the left lane, then turning left; or
    2) Riding straight across to the far-side crosswalk, then walk your bike across the road.
  • Riding through Intersections
    When you're going straight through an intersection, move to the through-lane, avoiding the right-turn-only lane. Don't ride to the right of a right-turning motorist.
  • Motorist: Pass with Care
    Motorists: please provide a reasonable safe distance (five feet) from bicyclist when passing….. thank you!