Whether it’s for leisure, commuting, or exercise, people choose to ride bicycles daily across the state. Both drivers and cyclists have a responsibility to stay alert while traveling. This choice could mean the difference between life, serious injury, or death for yourself or those around you. As a cyclist, always ride distraction-free and pay attention to your surroundings. In addition, as a driver, stay distraction free, keep your eyes on the road and look for cyclists traveling on the roadways. This is especially true with crisp fall weather approaching.
In 2017, there were three bicyclists killed and 263 injured in traffic crashes across our state. The number of injuries decreased in 2017, however we can all agree even one serious injury or death is too many.
As a community, there are simple steps everyone can take to reduce the number of crashes involving cyclists in our communities. Keeping Nebraska’s roads safe is a shared responsibility.
Important safety reminders:
- Make sure you are wearing a properly fitted helmet. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a crash.
- Cyclists are considered vehicle operators; they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators.
- Motor vehicle drivers need to share the road, eyes up and hand on the wheel. Allow three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist on the road.
- Cyclists should increase their visibility by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing, using reflective tape or markings on equipment also helps drivers see you at dawn and dusk.
Your first responsibility, as a driver, is to drive. This means your focus should be 100-percent on the road, and not distracted. You could be tempted to use your mobile device or fiddle with the radio station; however, those choices could cost someone their life.
Often times, cyclists can be hard to see, and that is especially true if you’re distracted and your focus isn’t 100-percent on the road.