AAA Encourages Motorists to Share the Road with Bicyclists

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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