D uring the pandemic, outdoor activities like biking and walking have become more common. These activities are a great way to stay active, and can be done with a couple of family members and friends …
D uring the pandemic, outdoor activities like biking and walking have become more common. These activities are a great way to stay active, and can be done with a couple of family members and friends while adhering to social distancing recommendations.
With that in mind, in our beautiful county, there are a series of scenic country roads, many of which with twists and turns. So we must all do our best to keep one another safe.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2018. In that same year, there were a total of 6,283 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes.
While many of these tragedies are situational, there is advice from the NHTSA on how to minimize them from happening.
When it comes to drivers and bicyclists sharing the road, the NHTSA recommends drivers do the following: Yield to bicyclists as you would motorists and do not underestimate their speed; In parking lots, at stop signs, when packing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles; Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a bicyclist approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red; Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and drive defensively to avoid a crash with a cyclist; Give cyclists room. Do not pass too closely. Pass bicyclists as you would any other vehicle—when it's safe to move over into an adjacent lane.
NHTSA advice for drivers in reference to pedestrians are to look for them everywhere and at all times; Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather; Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk; Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to give other vehicles an opportunity to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too; Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing that you can't see; Follow the speed limit, including the slower speed limits in school zones and in neighborhoods where children are present, and finally, be extra cautious when backing up—pedestrians can move into your path.
The NHTSA also has tips for bicyclists and walkers and their role in sharing the road.
Too many pedestrians and bicyclists are killed in traffic accidents each year. We can do a better job of following the recommendations by experts such as the NHTSA, and overall, being more courtesy to one another.
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