Posted by USDOT Public Affairs
Across the country, thousands of employees are forgoing their comfortable car ride to work in favor of a healthier, greener alternative—their bicycle. Let’s help keep our colleagues safe today, and every day.
In 2015, America endured a large and significant spike in motor vehicle fatalities, with 818 bicyclist deaths, accounting for 2.3 percent of all traffic fatalities during the year. Seventy percent of these cyclists were in urban areas, like Washington, D.C. These tragic statistics are an urgent reminder that drivers behind the wheels of cars and trucks do not enjoy sole right to the road. The road is a shared space where everyone has rights and responsibilities. Check out NHTSA’s tips on staying safe on the road on this Bike to Work Day.
- Drivers: Treat bicyclists as you would other drivers and be as aware of them in traffic as you are of vehicles. Pass bicyclists as you would vehicles—when it’s safe to move over into an adjacent lane. Give them sufficient room. Do not pass too closely. Drivers should look for bikes where vehicles do not appear. For example, before making a right-hand turn at an intersection, make sure a bicyclist isn’t approaching from the right rear of your vehicle.
- Bicyclists: Obey street signs, signals, and road markings. Always ride with traffic. Ride defensively, assuming others cannot see you. Ride attentively by never allowing yourself to be distracted by music, an electronic device, or anything else that takes your eyes off the road. Avoid riding on sidewalks when possible to protect pedestrians using the sidewalks. It also protects bicyclists because sidewalks can end abruptly, forcing them into traffic unexpectedly. If you must ride on the sidewalk, do so with extra caution. Most importantly: Wear a properly fitted helmet. A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash.
Secretary Chao celebrates National Bike to Work Week with DOT bicycle commuters.
Safe Riding is Everyone’s Responsibility
Safe roads help make safe communities. Wherever you live, and however you choose to get around, you’re a part of making your community a better place. This year, make Bike to Work Day the best yet—share the road with your colleagues, and thank them for making our Earth a little greener.