CHICAGO- Bicycling for fun and transportation continues to grow in popularity as bike-friendly cities encourage more people to hit the road on two wheels—especially now during the warm summer months. With more bikes and cars sharing the pavement, cyclists and drivers need to be aware of evolving dangers on roads, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
Distracted driving and other threats have contributed to a spike in the frequency and severity of auto accidents nationwide. According to software developer TrueMotion, 92 percent of drivers use their smartphones while driving, and 71 percent text while driving. Bicyclists and pedestrians also are increasingly distracted by smartphones, putting everyone on the road in danger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more than 800 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2015.
“Distracted and impaired drivers are making our roads increasingly dangerous,” said Bob Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president of personal lines policy. “Summer brings even more distractions, activity and overall congestion to the roads, which is why drivers and bicyclists need to make an extra effort to stay focused and drive responsibly.”
Simple modifications to bicyclist behaviors can prevent accidents and save lives.
PCI’s 5 Bike Safety Tips:
Check your equipment: Before the hitting the road, make sure you have enough air in your tires and that your brakes are working properly. Adjust your seat and handlebars to the correct height.
Wear safety gear: Always wear a helmet and consider wearing bright clothing that is easily visible to others on the road.
Stay alert: Do not ride distracted. Don’t use your smartphone or wear headphones while riding. Pay attention to the road and to your surroundings. Watch out for bumps, potholes, wet pavement and other dangerous situations.
Obey traffic laws: The same traffic rules for cars apply to bicycles. Obey all traffic signs and lights and do not ride under the influence. Also, travel in the same direction as traffic and make sure your position on the road allows drivers and others to see you.
Review insurance coverage: Make sure you have the right amount of insurance coverage in case you’re involved in an accident. If you have an expensive bike, considering adding a rider for it to your homeowners policy, just as you would for jewelry and other valuable items.
For more information and summer safety tips visit our auto safety website where we have more summer safety tips.