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May is Bike Safety Month, AAA shares safety tips for motorists and bicyclists

WSB Cox articles

May is National Bicycle Safety Month, a month geared towards reminding Georgians to examine their habits while sharing the road.

According to the American Automobile Association, injuries and deaths from bicycle crashes continue to be a serious problem in many states.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2022, there were 1,105 bicyclist fatalities and an estimated 46,195 injuries, nationally.

In Georgia alone, within the last 10 years from 2013 to 2022, there were 241 fatalities. Bicyclist deaths are highest during the summer months between June and September.

This heartrending statistic is primarily due to cycling enthusiasts taking to the lanes in greater numbers, driven by the allure of summer’s warmth.

“Drivers and cyclists play an equal part in sharing the road, outdoor activities are on the rise,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA spokeswoman. “School-aged children are spending more time riding their bicycles, and Georgia law states children 16 years and under must wear a helmet. Unfortunately, not everyone does. A good rule of thumb to remember is that every bike ride should begin with putting on a helmet. Preventable deaths are the goal, ride responsibly.”

AAA encourages all bicyclists to wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet every time they ride to help prevent head injuries from a bicycle crash.


AAA provided Bicyclists with a list of steps to take when sharing the road:

  • 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 bicycle helmet every time and on every ride. Nearly all bicyclists who died from a collision were not wearing helmets.

  • Be visible by wearing bright colors during the day, reflective gear in low light conditions, and using head and taillights at night.

  • Remember that respect is a two-way street. Show motorists the same courtesy that you expect from them.

AAA also provided steps for Motorists:

  • Stay alert—avoid all distractions while driving.

  • Yield to bicyclists when turning.

  • In bad weather, give bicyclists extra passing room, just as you would other motorists.

  • Make a visual check for bicyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots 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—it could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash.

  • Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door.

  • Children on bicycles are often unpredictable—expect the unexpected.

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