Fatal bicycle crashes increased in 2020 even with fewer drivers on the road

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Motorcycle crashes up in Texas and cellphone drivers may be to blame

May is national bicycle safety awareness month and AAA Texas is making sure you are watchful on the roads.

The latest Texas Department of Transportation data shows in 2020 there were 79 fatalities (+16% from 2019) and 2,172 crashes (-15% from 2019) involving a pedalcyclist. Nationally, bicyclists killed in crashes with vehicles increased 36 percent from 2010 to 2018 with most of them occurring among male riders 20 years and older, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Here are some tips from AAA to avoid accidents with cyclists:
Motorists:
Stay alert avoid all distractions while driving.
Yield to bicyclists when turning.
In bad weather, give bicyclists extra passing room, just as you would other motorists.
Make a visual check for bicyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.
Slow down and give at least 3 feet of clearance when passing.
Reduce your speed when passing bicyclists, especially when the road is narrow.
NEVER honk your horn at a bicyclist it could cause them to swerve into traffic or off the roadway and crash.
Always check for bicyclists before opening your car door.
Children on bicycles are often unpredictable expect the unexpected.


Bicyclists:
Ride on the roadway or shared pathways, rather than on sidewalks.
Follow the same rules of the road as other roadway users, including riding in the same direction as traffic and following all the same traffic signs and signals.
Signal all turns.
Wear a bicycle helmet every time and on every ride. Nearly all bicyclists who died from a collision were not wearing helmets.
Be visible by wearing bright colors during the day, reflective gear in low light conditions, and use head and tail lights at night.

If you’re wondering how Texans are doing following these tips just look at El Paso. According to the annual safest cities for cyclists in American report, El Paso ranks as the #1 safest city for cyclists in Texas and #48 overall.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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