CENTRAL NEW YORK – Warmer weather across the region means more bicycles, vehicles, and pedestrians out and about.
With more people of all ages taking advantage of walking and cycling, there’s no better time for a refresher on safety especially since May is both Global Youth Traffic Safety Month and Bike Safety Month. AAA Western and Central New York has tips for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists to share the road and keep everyone safe.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 846 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2019, with most killed between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and most often in urban areas. Males are eight times more likely than females to be fatally hit while riding a bicycle.
However, what’s more alarming, is the number of pedestrians killed in collisions. The NHTSA reports that, in 2019, 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, that’s 85 pedestrians killed every 85 minutes. With more families walking and cycling, AAA has tips to ensure everyone’s safety while sharing the road.
Tips for Pedestrians:
Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
Walk on sidewalks whenever possible and cross streets at crosswalks or intersections.
If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
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. Wear bright colors in daytime, reflective gear in low light conditions, and use head and taillights 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.
Visit AAA’s News & Safety website to see our tips programs and resources to practice road safety.
AAA Western and Central New York offers bicycle service with every membership. Disabled bikes will be transported by AAA! Learn more at https://westerncentralny.aaa.com/car/bicycle.