May is National Bicycle Safety Month
There are over 51 million people who ride bikes in the United States and they come in all shapes and sizes — from kids riding to school or out with friends to adults who cycle for exercise or as a means of transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 966 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2021 (the most recent year of complete data). In 2022, Connecticut had 446 crashes that involved a bicycle resulting in four fatalities and forty serious injuries. The month of May begins the most dangerous time of the year for cyclists, as crashes increase with the warmer weather and continue to remain high until the fall. As vulnerable road users, cyclists involved in a traffic crash are more likely to sustain injury than occupants of a vehicle.
Here in Connecticut, we are doing good work to increase awareness of bicycling safety and add cycling infrastructure to our roadways. The League of American Bicyclists ranks Connecticut as the #20 bike-friendly state and we are one of only four states that has taken all five of the League’s Bicycle Friendly Actions every year since they were identified in 2015.
So what else can we do to make sure all cyclists remain safe on our roadways? Both cyclists and drivers have a responsibility to engage in safe behavior at all times. Here are some tips to follow so that everyone can enjoy cycling and stay safe!
SAFETY TIPS FOR CYCLISTS
- Follow the rules of the road just like motorized vehicles.
- Make sure your bicycle is in good working order.
- Wear a helmet correctly on every ride.
- Be visible.
- Do not ride distracted – never use your phone while cycling!
- Be aware of possible changes in roadway conditions and weather.
SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVERS
- Slow down – obey speed limits and slow your vehicle when approaching a cyclist.
- Do not drive distracted or aggressively.
- Respect that cyclists have the same rights to the roadway as you.
- Be cautious at intersections.
- Give cyclists 3 feet when passing – it’s the law!
- Be aware of cyclists when you are parked and opening your vehicle door.
For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at email@example.com.
NHTSA, Bicycle Safety: Bike Safety Tips for Kids and Adults | NHTSA
Watch For Me CT, BICYCLISTS :: Watch for Me CT
The League of American Bicyclists, connecticut.pdf (bikeleague.org)