Bike Safely and Enjoy Your Ride
Bike Safely and Enjoy Your Ride
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. 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.
Cyclists are sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers. By showing common courtesy and respect on the road, we can ensure the two-way street is a safe street for all. Whether you ride for fun or to save money (and the planet) on your daily commute, AAA wants you to pedal with more peace of mind. 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.
In Central New York, the Cortland County Health Department's Injury Prevention and Traffic Safety Program has started offering helmet fittings and traffic safety education weekly, as well as Bike Rodeo events, said Program Coordinator Jennifer Hillman.
"We are able to do a better job of checking the safety and teaching the rider and their parent about how to do quick adjustments of the bikes using tools, air pumps, and lubricant," Hillman said.
Through AAA Western and Central New York's sponsorship, Hillman has been able to purchase a supply of new helmets in a range of sizes and bike flags to help smaller riders become more visible.
"We are so very appreciative of the ability to send kids home on safer bikes with safer helmets," Hillman said.
Did you know AAA members get roadside assistance 24/7/365 for their bicycles? Learn more about AAA's Bicycle Assistance.