SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity, and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to declare June 3 World Bicycle Day.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, bike sales have gone up across the country, with many customers being placed on waitlists.
Amid physical distancing and the warmer weather in New York, AAA has seen an uptick in the number of bicycles out and about as well.
With more people taking advantage of cycling, AAA Western and Central New York has tips for bicyclists and motorists to share the road and keep everyone safe.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2018 – that’s 74 more fatalities than 2018. Most bicyclists were 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.
Bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation and bicyclists are legal drivers of vehicles. Bicyclists and motorists can both benefit from reviewing the following safety tips.
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 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.
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.
So let’s safely celebrate the tool that provides a simple, affordable, reliable, clean, and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, the bicycle.
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