05 May 2011




John Pecchio, manager, AAA Traffic Safety,
(813) 288-7988 office JPecchio@AAASouth.com

Jessica Brady, manager, AAA Public Relations
(813) 288-7294 office, (813) 532-5327 cell


Every day, an average of 140 bicyclists are injured or killed in traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

TAMPA, Fla. (May 5, 2011) – May is National Bike Safety Month, and AAA Auto Club South encourages both bicyclists and motorists to make safety a top priority. Almost three-fourths (72%) of bicycle fatalities occurred during daytime hours in 2009, a 6 percent increase from the previous year. The remaining 28 percent were killed during nighttime hours, according to the latest data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Moreover, 70 percent of bicycle fatalities happen in urban areas, with the majority of them (64%) occurring at non-intersections. To ensure their safety, bicycle riders should make it a point to always properly cross roadways at designated intersections and never at non-intersections.

“Aside from wearing a helmet, one the most important bike safety tips AAA highly recommends is to cross at designated intersections, complimented by following traffic signal laws,” said John Pecchio, traffic safety manager, AAA Auto Club South. “Bicycle riders greatly increase their chance of being injured or killed if they dart in front of vehicles or do not obey all traffic signs and signals.”

Bicycles are considered vehicles and must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists. Bike riders are encouraged to wear reflective clothing and always ride in the same direction as traffic. AAA asks adults to set good examples for novice and young riders to help ensure they practice and follow all traffic laws.

AAA and NHTSA Recommend Four Easy Steps to Help Keep Bike Riders Safe:

Wear a Properly-Fitted Bicycle Helmet

  • Helmets should be positioned on the head and low on the forehead, no more than two finger widths above the eyebrow
  • Develop a family rule for helmet use and enforce it for every ride

Always Follow Traffic Laws


  • Bicycles are considered vehicles and must abide by the same traffic laws as motorists
  • Obey all traffic signs and signal your intentions when turning or passing


Make Yourself Visible

  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic, keeping to the right of vehicles
  • Wear bright colors during daylight hours


Drive Respectfully and Share the Road

  • Wear reflective materials on clothing and/or equipment in low-light conditions. Use white front lights, red rear reflectors and reflective material on clothing and/or equipment when riding at night
  • Focus exclusively on the road while driving. Distracted drivers can be deadly for bicyclists


For information on bicycle safety, please visit SharetheRoad.AAA.com and NHTSA.gov/Bicycles.

Established in 2010 by AAA Auto Club South, the Auto Club South Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACSTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization  dedicated to achieving a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in Florida, Georgia and middle/west Tennessee  communities. ACSTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACSTSF’s purpose. For more information, visit www.AAA.com/Foundation.

If you would rather not receive future communications from AAA Auto Club South, let us know by clicking here.
AAA Auto Club South, 1515 N West Shore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607-4505 United States
  • Be patient and pass bicyclists only when safe to do so, leaving a 3- to 5-foot clearance between your vehicle and the bicyclist