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Bicycle safety for motorists and bikers

The bicycle is a fun piece of sporting equipment, but it can also be dangerous. Therefore, Pennsylvania drivers and bicyclists alike need to take every precaution to keep bicycle accident fatalities at a minimum. As of the most recent statistics from 2012, bicycle accidents were responsible for 2 percent of traffic accident deaths. Let us see what we can do to reduce that figure even more.

One of the most important things that all bicyclists can do to dramatically reduce bicycle-related deaths is to always wear a helmet that fits them properly. Next, bicyclists should obey all traffic laws. There is a tendency for bicyclists to forget that regular vehicle rules apply to them. Therefore, bicyclists need to stop at stop signs, red lights and ride on the correct side of the road or face getting a ticket. Also, the rules of the road exist for a reason -- to keep people safe and prevent accidents. Those who disobey them are more likely to get hurt.

As for drivers, they also need to follow the rules of the road and keep their eyes out for bicyclists. An attentive and defensive driver -- rather than a distracted and aggressive one -- will be more likely to avoid an accident with a bicyclist. Car versus bicycle accidents commonly occur during turns, so this is a place where motorists should be especially attentive. The most responsible bicyclists will wear florescent and bright clothing and use front and rear headlights and reflectors to make themselves more noticeable. When a bicyclist is seen, drivers should provide them with a minimum of three feet clearance while passing.

Failing to be watchful and attentive -- on the part of a bicyclist or a motorist -- could result in a fatal crash. Keeping that risk in mind will hopefully be sufficient to keep the Pennsylvania drivers and cyclists who read this on their best behavior.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists," accessed April. 23, 2015

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