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Community bikeability and how to enjoy a safer bicycle ride

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Bicycle Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) works toward making communities safer for bicyclists.

The NHTSA focuses on providing bicycle safety tips for riders in an effort to help decrease the number of bicycle crashes across the country.

Decreasing crashes

People obviously bicycle for fun but commuting by bicycle is becoming increasingly popular. That results in more interaction between bicycles and motorized vehicles. According to the NHTSA, there were 938 cyclist fatalities across the nation in 2020. Here are some facts that riders should be aware of:

  • Cyclist fatalities occur most often between 6:00 and 9:00 pm
  • Cyclist deaths happen more often in urban locations than in rural areas
  • In 2017, cyclist fatalities were 8 times higher for males than for females

Bicyclist safety tips

It is important to ride a bicycle that fits you, that is not too large and therefore harder to control. It also needs to be in good working order. Make sure you check the brakes before heading out. The garments you choose to wear should make you more visible. Wear bright colors and, if riding after dark, reflective gear. Above all, protect your head with a helmet that fits well.

Defensive driving

When you ride, be alert to whatever is happening around you. Anticipate what other motorists and bicyclists will do. In short, drive defensively. Always assume that people do not see you, especially those crossing intersections or backing out of driveways. Your behavior as a rider contributes to the “bikeability” of your community, as the NHTSA would say, helping to make cycling a safe and enjoyable activity.