May is Bike Safety Month
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Spring is a time to dust off bicycles and get out and about! May is Bike Safety Month in the United States. With more people taking advantage of cycling, there’s no better time for a refresher on safety. AAA Western and Central New York has tips for bicyclists and motorists to share the road and keep everyone safe.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 938 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2020. That’s an increase of 92 deaths over 2019. Bicyclist deaths most often occur between 6 and 9 p.m., and most often in urban areas. Males are seven times more likely than females to be fatally hit while riding a bicycle.
Bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation, and bicyclists are legal drivers of vehicles. Yet a major issue is that many bicyclists feel they are not respected by motorists and must fight for their place on the road. Bicyclists and motorists can both benefit from reviewing the following safety tips.
Tips for Bicyclists
√ Follow the same rules of the road as other roadway users, including riding in the same direction as traffic, and following all the same traffic signs and signals.
√ Signal all turns.
√ Wear a bicycle helmet every time and on every ride.
√ Be visible by wearing bright colors during the day, reflective gear in low light conditions, and use head and tail lights at night.
√ Remember that respect is a two-way street. Show motorists the same courtesy that you expect from them.
Tips for Drivers
√ Stay alert – avoid all distractions while driving.
√ Yield to bicyclists when turning.
√ Make a visual check for bicyclists by scanning mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
√ Slow down and give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing.
√ Never honk your horn at a bicyclist – it could cause them to swerve into traffic, or off the roadway, and crash.
Did you know AAA WCNY offers bicycle service with every membership? A bicycle will be transported by AAA when it has become disabled or inoperable, and can be reached from a normally traveled road by a AAA service vehicle. For those stranded on a bike path, the AAA service vehicle will meet the rider at the closest point of entry for motor vehicles. Towing is provided to the location of the member’s choosing, according to the terms of the individual’s AAA membership. Learn more at https://westerncentralny.aaa.com/car/bicycle.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.