Posts Tagged ‘Bike Safety’

Erin SteppWASHINGTON (May 14, 2012) – As communities from coast to coast celebrate National Bike Month this May, a growing number of Americans are picking up their bikes for recreation, fitness and transportation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of bicycle commuters nationwide increased 40 percent from 2000 to 2010.

With more bicyclists on American roadways, AAA has partnered with the League to produce a series of bicycle safety videos, designed to educate both motorists and bicyclists on the importance of sharing the road. AAA’s newly redesigned ShareTheRoad.AAA.com offers bicycle and helmet fit guides, safety tips and riding skills advice.

“This spring, warmer weather is enticing more bicyclists to the roadways,” said AAA’s Traffic Safety Project Manager Rhonda Shah. “And sadly, in 2010, 628 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes and an additional 52,000 were injured.” As an advocate for the safety of travelers on both two wheels and four, AAA offers the following advice to motorists:

  • Share the road. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the traffic lane
  • Slow down and allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots before turning, changing lanes or opening car doors.
  • Never honk your horn at a bicyclist.  They may startle and swerve off the road or into traffic.
  • Be especially cautious around children on bikes. They are often unsteady and unpredictable.
  • Stay alert and avoid all distractions while driving.

“This year’s theme for Bike Month — One Ride, Many Reasons — recognizes that cycling enhances our lives in countless ways, from keeping us fit to giving us a fun way to get to work,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “We’re excited about AAA’s strong support of Bike Month and commitment to educate motorists, so every ride is safe and comfortable for drivers and bicyclists alike.”

As more bicyclists take to the roads, lawmakers have taken notice, too. With the help of the Bicycle Friendly America (BFA) program, a growing number of cities and states are taking steps to improve biking in their communities. According to the most recent BFA survey:

  • The number of U.S. states with three-foot passing laws has grown by 64 percent in the last four years.
  • 35 states currently have a Share the Road campaign.

To learn how you can share the road, visit AAA’s updated website for bicycle safety videos and other resources visit ShareTheRoad.AAA.com.

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. For more information or to support the League, visit bikeleague.org

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2011

Recent data shows the average age of a bicyclist killed in a traffic crash is 41.

Erin SteppMay is National Bike Month and with warmer weather luring a growing number of bicyclists onto roadways, AAA and the League of American Bicyclists encourage both bicyclists and motorists to make safety a top priority. While most adults ride bikes recreationally, an increasing number are riding their bike to work, to improve their health, save money and reduce their overall carbon footprint.

“As more cyclists hit the road and trail, we welcome the opportunity to work with AAA to reinforce the safety messages that both cyclists and motorists really need to take to heart,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We have a shared responsibility to share the road – and the reality is that most cyclists are also motorists at some point.”

“Education–on both sides—is key for all road users, of all ages,” said AAA’s Traffic Safety Specialist Rhonda Markos. “Despite conventional wisdom, children are not the primary victims of bicycle crashes.” Of the 630 bicyclist deaths in 2009, eight out of ten were adults over 21, so the League of American Bicyclists and AAA have partnered on a campaign to encourage adult bicyclists to take five easy steps to safer riding:

  • Follow the Rules of the Road:
    • Always ride with traffic, using the rightmost lane, obeying the same laws as motorists.
    • Use hand and arm signals to indicate your intention to stop, merge or turn.
  • Be Visible:
    • Ride where drivers can see you. Do not ride on the sidewalk.
    • Wear brightly colored clothing at all times. At night, use a white front light and red rear light or reflector, and wear reflective clothing.
  • Be Predicable:
    • Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars.
    • Make eye contact with motorists to let them know you are there.
  • Anticipate Conflicts:
    • Always be aware of traffic around you and be prepared to take evasive action, exercising additional caution at intersections.
    • Learn braking and turning techniques to avoid crashes.
  • Wear a Helmet:
    • Helmets, when worn properly, are up to 85 percent effective in protecting the head and brain in the event of a crash. Should you crash, or have an impact that affects your helmet, replace it immediately.
    • Fit matters: Wear your helmet level on your head, low on your forehead, with no more than two finger widths above your eyebrow.

“AAA is pleased to work with theLeague of AmericanBicyclists to remind adults about safe bicycling practices and to encourage motorists and bicyclists alike to share the road,” Markos said.

Motorists, too, can make an effort to reduce bicyclist injuries and fatalities. AAA encourages motorists to take the following precautions when sharing the road with bicyclists:

  • Stay alert, avoiding all distractions while driving.
  • Yield to bicyclists when turning.
  • In bad weather, give bicyclists extra passing room.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots for bicyclists before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
  • Slow down and give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing.
  • Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists, especially when the road is narrow.
  • NEVER honk your horn at a bicyclist just to let them know you are there; it could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash. Save your horn for emergencies.
  • Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door.

For information on bicycle safety, please visit and SharetheRoad.AAA.com

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. For more information or to support the League, visit bikeleague.org

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2011

Every day, an average of 140 bicyclists are injured or killed in traffic crashes.

Erin SteppMay is National Bike Safety Month and as summer approaches, millions of Americans will climb onto their bikes to enjoy one of the ultimate warm-weather experiences. To help curb bike injuries and fatalities, AAA and NHTSA have partnered to remind parents and caregivers to set positive examples that encourage children and teens to ride safely.

“When worn properly, helmets are up to 85 percent effective in protecting the head and brain in the event of a crash. With helmet use among bicyclists between 20-25 percent, we have an opportunity to reduce injuries and deaths by encouraging more riders to do the same,” said AAA’s Vice President of Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso. “Children look to parents for guidance, so we want kids to see mom and dad wearing a helmet, and to follow their lead,” Marvaso said.

Parents and caregivers must also remember that bicycle safety extends beyond early childhood. “Even the most experienced riders can crash or fall while riding a bike,” stressed Marvaso. According to NHTSA, among children, 10-to-14-year-old males have the highest rate of injuries and fatalities.

 

“When it comes to bicycling, safety is always the top priority. Because parents and caregivers are role models for children, it is especially critical they teach by example. That means wearing proper helmets and observing all the rules of the road,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

 

AAA and NHTSA recommend these four easy steps to help keep bicyclists of all ages safe:

Wear a Properly-Fitted Bicycle Helmet.

  • Wear your helmet properly, level on your head and low on your forehead, no more than two finger widths above your eyebrow.
  • Develop a family rule for helmet use and enforce it for every ride.
  • It’s never too late to start wearing a helmet.

 

Always Follow the Rules of the Road.

  • Bicycles are considered vehicles and must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signal your intentions when turning or passing.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic, keeping to the right.

 

Make Yourself Visible.

  • Wear bright colors during daylight hours.
  • Wear reflective materials on clothing and/or equipment in low-light conditions.
  • Use white front lights, red rear reflectors and reflective material on clothing and/or equipment when riding at night. Parents should discourage children from riding at night.

 

Drive Respectfully and Share the Road

  • Focus exclusively on the road while driving. Distracted drivers can be deadly for bicyclists.
  • Be patient and pass bicyclists only when safe to do so, leaving a 3 to 5 foot clearance between your vehicle and the bicyclist.

For information on bicycle safety, please visit SharetheRoad.AAA.com and NHTSA.gov/Bicycles

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 3, 2010

America’s largest motor club promotes careful commuting whether your ride has two wheels or four.

Erin SteppMay is National Bike Month and with a growing number of bicyclists on roadways, AAA encourages all motorists to respectfully share the road with cyclists. Most Americans continue

to ride bikes for recreation, but many people use their bikes as a means to commute to work, improve their physical health and to reduce their overall carbon footprint. In recognition of National Bike Month, AAA reminds both motorists and cyclists to be vigilant about sharing the road, and to exercise caution year round.

“It’s important for roadway users to remember that cyclists are granted the same rights and are expected to obey the same laws as motorists,” says Jake Nelson, director, AAA Traffic Safety Policy and Research. “AAA appreciates the continued efforts of stakeholders and transportation officials towards making roads safer for motorists and cyclists alike.”

As May’s warmer weather lures more cyclists onto roadways, AAA urges motorists to exercise exceptional caution when approaching bicyclists with whom they share the road, and offers the following tips:

  • Allow three feet of passing space between your car and the cyclist. Tailgating or honking can startle or fluster a bicyclist, causing them to swerve further into the driving lane.
  • Be patient. Remember, cyclists are moving under their own power and can’t be expected to go the same speed as cars.
  • Pay special attention to blind spots. Due to their size and the location of bike lanes, bikes can often get lost in a car’s blind spot, so double check before changing lanes, making right-hand turns or before opening your car door on the traffic side when parked.
  • Be attentive on side streets and neighborhoods. Children are especially at risk in residential areas. Follow the speed limit, avoid driver distraction and always be aware of your surroundings. It is particularly important to be cautious when backing out of a driveway and onto the street.
  • Use good common sense. For example, in inclement weather, give cyclists extra room.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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