Let’s Celebrate Cycling Safely During
National Bicycle Safety Month
La Marque, Texas — This May, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is joining The City of La Marque to encourage more people to bike, ride safely, and wear helmets during National Bicycle Safety Month. NHTSA is urging communities to create safe spaces for bicyclists, and for drivers to be on the lookout for people bicycling nearby.
Bicycling is a great means of transportation and recreation. Everyone, in every community, deserves the freedom to ride to their destination safely. U.S. Census reports have shown that people in low-income, marginalized communities and communities of color often rely on walking and biking as their primary means of transportation, making safer bicycling critical to address transportation inequities.
Fewer motor vehicles on the road equals less congestion and lower emissions. Unlike an average motor vehicle weighing nearly 4,300 pounds with 252 horsepower and a carbon footprint of 51.4 square feet, a bicycle produces 0 carbon footprint.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy has outlined the comprehensive approach our nation needs to create a safe system for everyone, including people who bike. A safe system focuses on safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and post-crash care.
Safer People. Studies show drivers expect and are likely to see bicyclists better when more people ride bikes and ride them together. When more people bike, the risk of crashes with motor vehicles decreases. Studies of the Safety In Numbers effect show motorists drive more cautiously and bicyclists are safer on roads with higher volumes of bicyclists. Studies also show that helmets save lives. Bicyclists should protect their heads with a correctly fitted helmet.
Safer Roads. Communities should seek to accommodate all road users, including bicyclists. The safest spaces for bicyclists are where they are separated from motor vehicles, such as dedicated bike lanes and paths.
Safer Vehicles. A bike is a vehicle when operated on the roadways. Just as drivers of motor vehicles, people riding bikes should take care to do pre-ride bicycle inspections and maintain their bikes in good working order.
Safer Speeds. Roadway safety is a shared responsibility. People biking don’t have the protection provided by the frame of a vehicle. Bicyclists are most often killed by drivers who strike them with the front of their vehicle in a single-vehicle crash, often at a high rate of speed. Driving a vehicle is a tremendous responsibility, and cautious and responsible driving can save lives. Paying attention while driving, every trip, every mile, is critical. Drivers should look out, slow down, and yield for bicyclists.
Post-Crash Care. In the event of a crash, the most critical times are the minutes and hours after an injury. A person on a bike does not have the same protections as drivers in vehicles. The likelihood of injury to bicyclists is immanent when involved in a crash. Improving post-crash survival is highly dependent on getting them to care. Bystanders can be the “care before the care arrives” by stopping, calling for help, and staying until help arrives.
“Let’s celebrate bicycling and practice it safely. Bike infrastructure, safer speeds, bike education, and bike helmets save lives. Wear a bicycle helmet every trip, every time.” During National Bicycle Safety Month, let’s work together to help our community protect our bicyclists. For more information about bicycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicycle-safety.