BOISE – May is National Bicycle Safety Month, and as many Idahoans are enjoying the weather on their two-wheeled transportation, AAA is reminding drivers and cyclists to work together to promote safety.

“Bicyclists occupy a much smaller footprint on the roads than a passenger vehicle or heavy truck, and drivers must be hyper vigilant to see and protect them,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “This time of year brings a seasonal uptick in recreational cycling, and by actively scanning the road and extending some good old-fashioned Gem State courtesy, everyone can share the road and stay safe.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 1,100 bicyclist fatalities nationwide in 2022, with more than 46,000 bicyclists injured.  In a separate NHTSA study, the majority of bicyclist fatalities (62%) took place at non-intersection locations, and 85% of deaths occurred in urban areas.

“The American vehicle fleet continues to move in the direction of taller, heavier vehicles with higher grills, and if there is a crash, unfortunately that contact point with the bicyclist is much likelier to be in the upper body – the head and neck area,” Conde said.  “Observing the speed limit gives drivers more time to react and ensures the best chance of slowing down to reduce an impact speed that would otherwise be devastating, even deadly.”

Drivers are also encouraged to exercise special caution at dawn, dusk, and on the weekends – when many bicyclists are likely to be on the road.