As Ohioans break out the bicycles during National Bike Month, AAA urges cyclists and motorists to exercise caution and practice bike safety to prevent crashes.
“Lessons in bike safety should start as soon as little feet touch the pedals of their first tricycle and continue throughout adulthood,” said Kellie O’Riordan, traffic safety program manager at AAA Ohio Auto Club. “Drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and look out for cyclists who don’t have the same level of protection as motorists.”
Motorists and Bike Safety:
It’s a two-way street when it comes to sharing the road. Motorists and cyclists should:
- Remember, in Ohio, bicycles are considered vehicles and have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in traffic lanes. It’s illegal for bicyclists to ride against traffic or on sidewalks.
- Abide by Ohio’s 3-foot passing law, which mandates motorists maintain at least 3 feet clearance when passing a bicycle traveling along the road in the same direction.
- Never honk at bicyclists. They may startle and swerve off the road or into traffic.
- Bicyclists should be visible and predictable. Wear reflective clothing at night and always ride where drivers can see you. Don’t swerve between parked cars.
- Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Properly fitted helmets are an essential safeguard against brain injuries, the most common cause of bicycle-related fatalities.
- Always remain alert and avoid distractions, whether on a bike or in a car.
If a bicycle-related crash does occur, remember that it’s illegal to flee the scene. One AAA Foundation report found that hit-and-run crash deaths are on the rise, and most (65 percent) of the victims of these fatal hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians or bicyclists. Motorists involved in a bicycle-related crash should remain on the scene, assist the injured and call 911.
In a survey of Ohio bicyclists, more than 81 percent said they had broken down while riding their bicycles. AAA Ohio offers Bicycle Breakdown Service, standard with any AAA Ohio membership.
Members who experience a bicycle breakdown (flat tire, broken chain, etc.) while riding in AAA Ohio Auto Club’s territory can call AAA and make their way to the nearest accessible road. A service truck will arrive and transport them and their bicycle where they need to go.
AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel-, insurance-, financial- and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA.com to review all of our membership levels and benefits.