MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - What can happen on a road is often unpredictable.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30% of all injuries that occur on a bike happen when a bicyclist is struck by a car.
“The singular biggest thing that people can do to protect themselves is wear a helmet, wear pads on the knees and elbows and tie their shoe laces tight,” North Mankato Chief of Police Ross Gullickson said.
The Mankato/North Mankato area is a Bicycle Friendly Community.
Most streets have access to a bike lane, while North Mankato allows residents to ride on the sidewalk if they wish.
“We would encourage that the younger, more inexperienced riders ride on the sidewalk while the more advanced, experienced and older riders ride on the roadways,” Gullickson added.
Just because you're on a bike doesn't mean laws don't apply.
Bicyclists still must follow the rules of the road.
“That’s going with traffic," Justin Rinehart, owner of the Nicollet Bike and Ski Shop said. "And you’re supposed to ride as far to the right side of the lane as safe for the cyclist.”
“You have to stop at stop signs, stop lights, you have to yield for pedestrians in crosswalks, you have to signal your turns just as though you’re riding in a car,” explains Rinehart.
And with over half of bike accidents happening at night, do your best to prevent these nighttime collisions.
“Visibility with taillights and daytime running lights. Just like cars today bicycles have the ability to have flashing lights both head and tail to create more visibility for the rider out on the road," said Rinehart.