Bike Safety Tips

Cycling in the Annapolis area can be very rewarding, but it's important to know the basics of city riding for the safety of yourself and other road users.

By Maryland law, bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles - but bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don't have a protective barrier around them. Motorists should drive carefully around a bicyclist; even a slight mistake can result in death. Bicyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles.

Bicycles Are Part of Traffic

  • Check for oncoming traffic before entering any street or intersection.
  • Ride on the right, with the flow of traffic.
  • Use the lane furthest to the right that heads in the direction that you are traveling.
  • Ride in the right third of the right-most lane that goes in the direction you are going
  • Take the lane if there is insufficient road width for cyclists and cars to share, less than 12 feet (many lanes in Annapolis are less than this).

Follow Traffic Laws

  • Obey traffic control devices: stop signs, stop lights, lane markings.
  • Use hand signals to let pedestrians, other cyclists and motor vehicle drivers know your intention to stop or turn.
  • Anticipate hazards and adjust your position in traffic accordingly.
  • Ride in a straight line - not in and out of parked cars on the side of the street/road.

Ride Safely

  • Ride far enough away from parked cars to avoid hitting an opened door. Don't ride in the door zone (3 feet from door)!
  • Ride far enough away from the curb or edge of the roadway to avoid hazards and debris.
  • Check, signal and move into the adjacent lane if there are hazards in a bike lane.
  • Take the lane before intersections and turns to assert your position on the roadway.
  • Take the lane if traveling the same speed as other traffic or if hazards narrow the usable width.

Report a Problem

Notice something amiss in the bicycling environment? Have you seen storm drain grates parallel to a bicycle tire direction of travel, a pot hole in a bike path, or other bicycle-related problem in Annapolis? Report It!