AAA Oklahoma, Nov. 1, 2012 – In the wake of a number of fatality collisions recently across the state involving bicyclists and pedestrians, AAA is urging motorists to focus on the task of driving to help avoid preventable crashes. In Oklahoma last year, there were 609 pedestrians struck by vehicles; 47 of those died. Also last year in the state, 309 bicyclists were involved in crashes. AAA offers these tips to help keep pedestrians and bicyclists safe while traveling in traffic:
Share the road. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, including the right to ride in the traffic lane
Slow down and allow at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 miles per hour is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.
Never honk your horn at bicyclists. They may be startled and swerve off the road or into traffic.
Limit distractions such as cell phones, iPods, GPS, CD players and other devices that cause you to take your eyes off the road. Research shows that looking away for as little as two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.
Stay Alert in and near school and residential areas. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk or dashing into the street, especially around schools.
Stop at stop signs. It sounds obvious, but research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones and in neighborhoods.
Drive with your headlights on - even during the day - so pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers can see you.