AAA Reminds Motorists To Be Aware of Bicyclists
The following is a statement from Jeff Ogden, president of AAA
As the weather gets warmer, everyone wants to find ways to spend more
time outside. That is why it is the perfect time to emphasize the
importance of being aware of bicyclists on the road.
During summer break, children are not protected by the confines of their
schoolyards. It is also more difficult for a child to judge traffic
situations because their peripheral vision is one-third narrower than an
adult's. So it is important to be alert when driving throughout the day
- especially since children could be walking or playing anywhere and
could dart into traffic.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, in 2002, there
were 909 bicycle/vehicle crashes, 860 bicyclists injured, and 7
bicyclists killed. Youth are the most likely victims (2 out of every 3)
of bike injuries, and the peak hours for these injuries to occur is
between 3 and 6 p.m., which is right after school.
Because of these facts, AAA's School's Out - Drive Carefully campaign
advises all ages to use extra caution on roads. Maintaining a 20 to 30
second visual lead while driving allows motorists time to identify
unexpected problems, and develop and execute a plan - possibly
preventing a tragedy.
Parents also need to instruct children to play in their backyards or at
playgrounds, away from traffic. Children need to understand what to do
if unsafe situations arise; for example, ask a parent to retrieve a ball
that goes into the street.
To help protect child pedestrians, AAA urges motorists to follow these
- When leaving for work or an appointment, leave early so you are
- Drive with your headlights on, even during the day, so children
and other drivers can see you.
- Look for areas such as playgrounds that indicate children could be
in the area.
- Slow down in or near residential areas and playgrounds.
- Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children
could dart into the road. A ball rolling into the street is usually
followed by a child chasing after it.
Practice extra caution in inclement weather.
- Make eye contact with children who are about to cross the street.
Be aware of their next steps and make them aware of yours.
- Remember, schools out means children are at play - drive
Jeff Ogden is the president of AAA Minnesota/Iowa, which includes more
than 720,000 members, and offers automotive, travel, insurance and
For Bike Safety Tips Click Below:
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Tips From Canadian Tire for Outfitting your Child with the Right Bike and Accessories
Tips From Safe Kids Canada to Encourage Children to Wear Helmets
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