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The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program Reminds Everyone That May is Bicycle Safety Month

Join the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safety initiative (NHTSA) to educate the public about the importance of bicycle safety and encourage more people to ride safely and wear helmets.

For DriversTraffic safety is a shared responsibility. When driving, look out for bicyclists and never drive distracted or impaired. Bicyclists do not have the same protections as a vehicle.If you see a bicyclist, slow down: Bicyclists are most often killed by drivers who strike them with the front of their vehicles, often at high speeds. The higher the vehicle speed, the higher the likelihood a bicyclist will be seriously injured or killed. 
For BicyclistsJust like seat belts help save lives in a motor vehicle crash, bicycle helmets save lives, too. When biking, always wear a helmet.A concept called Safety in Numbers shows that when more people ride bikes together, drivers behave more safely around them on the roads. Studies of Safety in Numbers show drivers are more cautious, and bicyclists are safer on roads with more bicyclists.Compared to vehicles, bikes are more difficult to see because of their smaller size. To make it easier for drivers to see you, have reflectors and lights on your bike, and wear retroreflective and bright clothing. 
GeneralBicycling is good for the environment and your health. It’s good for your wallet, too: Bicycling is an inexpensive and reliable way to get to the places you want to go.Fewer vehicles on the road means less traffic air pollution. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles produce zero carbon footprint.U.S. Census reports have shown that people in low-income, marginalized communities and communities of color often rely on walking and biking as their main sources of transportation. This means safer bicycling is critical in addressing transportation inequities.While bicycle safety is important year-round, during National Bicycle Safety Month in May we bring heightened awareness to the issue. 
Stats NationwideIn 2022 there were 1,105 bicyclist fatalities.In 2022 an estimated 46,195 bicyclists were injured.For more information about bicycle safety, visit NHTSA.gov/BicycleSafety. For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit www.highwaysafety.wv.gov or call 304-926-2509.