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No one can control all the conditions of the roadway, and you cannot control other motorists, but if you are on a bike following rules of the road can save your life.
Utah code states that a bicycle ridden by an adult is considered a road vehicle just like a car. That means cyclists must travel on the right side of the road in the same direction as the flow of traffic. They must obey all traffic signals and signs. If there is a stop sign or a red light, a person on a bicycle must stop just like a car.
Utah law also requires bicyclists to use turn signals. They are not optional. The only way to avoid the use of hand signals is to purchase a set of signal light armbands.
- To turn left, extend the left arm straight out from your side, parallel to the ground.
- To turn right, extend the left arm out straight from the shoulder with the elbow bent and the left hand pointing straight up. The arm should form an “L” shape.
- To slow down, extend the left arm out straight from the shoulder with the elbow bent and the left hand pointing straight down. It’s the opposite of the right-hand turn.
Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is not required by law in all jurisdictions within the State of Utah. However, every safety organization in the state advocates that all riders wear helmets to prevent head injuries. It is also recommended that bicyclists wear reflective clothing and place reflective devices on their bicycles. These items make it easier for drivers and other motorists to see you. It is your responsibility as a cyclist to make sure others can see you. If you are invisible, other drivers cannot protect you with their courtesy and caution.
Just like being behind the wheel of a car, distractions are dangerous. Experts recommend that cyclists don’t ride while they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol or are otherwise impaired. They also recommend that cyclists remain undistracted by electronic devices like a music player or a smartphone.
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