AAA Tidewater Encourages Everyone to Share the Road

cars turning rural road

VIRGINIA BEACH Va., (May 1, 2014) – As spring like weather finally comes to Virginia more people will be using their bicycles for fun, exercise and transportation. In support of National Bike Safety month, AAA Tidewater Virginia reminds drivers and cyclists of the best way to stay safe on the road.

According to NHTSA, in 2012 crash fatalities involving pedestrians and pedalcyclists increased almost 28 percent from 2011. Bicycles are a legitimate form of transportation and bicyclists are legal drivers of vehicles, with laws and regulations established for their use. Yet a major issue is that many bicyclists feel they are not respected by motorists and must fight for their place on the road. Like motorists, cyclists need space to safely operate in traffic. “Many crashes occur because motorists and bicyclists fail to give each other enough space on shared roads,” said Georjeane Blumling Ph.D., Vice President of Public Affairs for AAA Tidewater.

Here are a few safety tips for drivers around cyclists:

  • Check for bicycles when opening your car door and when turning right.
  • When passing a cyclist, slow down and give plenty of space – at least three feet when possible, and more if traveling at highway speeds.
  • Always signal your turns.
  • Remember, bicyclists may need extra room to move left when approaching road hazards, and may legally occupy a lane that’s too narrow for safe passing.
  • Obey all traffic laws and posted signs.

Here are some safety tips for cyclists traveling near drivers:

  • Ride as far to the right as practicable (safe and reasonable), but stay at least three feet away from parked cars to avoid the “door zone.”
  • Don’t hug the pavement edge where debris, loose gravel, or rough road surface might cause you to swerve into traffic.
  • Always check over your shoulder and signal your intentions, even when just changing position in a lane.
  • Ride on the street – not the sidewalk – and in the direction of traffic.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • Obey all traffic laws and posted signs.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia