The sky is blue and the temperature is rising. It’s time to dust off those bikes and shine them up for spring. Before you pedal off into the sunset, familiarize yourself with some helpful safety tips.
Bike Baton Rouge, a local nonprofit bicycle advocacy organization, is offering a list of bike safety tips which they hope will result in increased safety amongst bicyclists and motorists sharing the road. Spring sees greatly increased bicycling as the warmer weather and extended evening daylight hours allow for more people to bicycle after work or school.
Already this year, several bicyclists and pedestrians have been involved in motor vehicle crashes in Baton Rouge, particularly along Florida Boulevard.
“We wanted to keep things really simple with our safety tips to give maximum impact from a small and easily digestible amount of information.” says Mika Torkkola, Bike Baton Rouge President, “And we wanted to acknowledge that both bicyclists and motorists have the responsibility to avoid causing crashes on our roads.”
Louisiana ranks third in the nation for adult bicycling deaths after Delaware (second) and Florida (first) according to a 2015 study by the Center for Disease Control, but Torkkola says that Louisiana rankings will improve as both bicyclists and motorists become more accustomed to the increased numbers of people riding bicycles in the state. Each safety tip is based on Louisiana road law.
TIPS FOR BICYCLISTS
Always ride with traffic, not against it
23 percent of bike fatalities involve a bicyclist riding illegally against traffic
Always use front and rear lights when it’s dark
50 percent of bike fatalities occur outside of daylight hours
TIPS FOR MOTORISTS
Pass bicyclists safely, with at least three feet of clearance
40 percent of bike fatalities involve an impact from behind
Look for bicyclists at all times, particularly at intersections and driveways
44 percent of bike fatalities occur at intersections
TIPS FOR EVERYONE
Don’t bike or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
35 percent of bike fatalities involve a drunk driver or bicyclist
Treat all other road users with care and respect!