Whether you are new to Big Sky Country or have grown up cycling Montana’s hills, you know bicycles are an everyday part of life in this beautiful state. In fact, they are so much a part of life the law recognizes them as vehicles, meaning they get the same attention as every other car and truck on the highway. It also means riders equate to drivers and must follow the same rules of the road that other motorists follow.
If bicycles, cars, and trucks are equals in Montana, how can drivers of the two-wheel variety stay safe when sharing the road with larger vehicles? The Montana Department of Transportation has some ideas.
Their experts say to stay aware by paying attention to potential hazards. Look for loose gravel, sand, or other debris, for example, and approach railroad crossings at a right angle. Also, glance behind you from time to time or use a rear-view mirror to get an idea of where you are in relation to other motorists.
MDT also reminds riders to “obey traffic signs and signals” just as stringently as if you are driving a car or truck. Ride in the same direction as other vehicles, stop at stop signs, give turn signals with hand motions and use common sense. In addition, install headlights on all the bikes you own for maximum safety after dark.
In a car, sometimes you may drive with just one hand, but rules of bicycle safety say using both hands to navigate on your two-wheeled vehicle offers more security. Maintain your bike well with regular repairs, too.
This information only intends to educate about bike safety and does not provide legal advice.