Nice, warmer weather means more outdoor activities.
Among those outdoor activities is bicycling, both for youths and more experienced, even competitive, cyclists.
The month of May is recognized as National Bicycle Safety Month and for good reason, as motorists are being reminded to examine driving habits and be more watchful on the roadways.
Hundreds of bicyclists are dying and tens of thousands more are injured across the nation in preventable crashes each year, according to information released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The number of people killed on bicycles is on the rise, with 857 bicyclists killed in crashes in the U.S. during 2018, the highest number on record since 1990, the NHTSA said in a recent report.
In a previous AAA Consumer Pulse survey, the majority of bicyclists who ride on the road indicated that being hit by a vehicle was their number one concern (69 percent) followed by distracted drivers (64 percent).
We join the AAA Auto Club Group and its Traffic Safety Foundation in promoting bicycle safety by encouraging all motorists to put away distractions and share the road with the folks on two wheels.
Below are some safety tips from AAA.
— Ride on the roadway or shared pathways, rather than on sidewalks.
— 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 properly fitted 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.
— Stay alert — avoid all distractions while driving.
— Yield to bicyclists while turning.
— In bad weather, give bicyclists extra passing room, just as you would other motorists.
— Look for bicyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
— Slow down and give at least three feet of clearance when passing.
— Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists, especially when the road is narrow.
— Never honk your horn at a bicyclist — it could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash.
— Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door.
Finally, AAA reminds everyone that children on bicycles are often unpredictable — expect the unexpected and look out for them.
Enjoy the warmer weather and stay safe.