Bicycles are great for leisure activities and short-range commuting, but they aren’t without risk. According to the CDC, bike accidents result in nearly 1,000 fatalities and 130,000 injuries annually and roughly $23 billion lost in health care expenses, lost work productivity, and lost life quality.
Local leaders can take action to minimize the risk of biking within city boundaries. Here’s how bicycle road signs can improve transportation safety in your city.
Bicycle Road Safety Statistics
Before examining how road signs can protect cyclists, we must understand the data behind bicycle accidents. Where do they happen? What demographics are affected the most? What steps can we take to reduce the fatality and injury rate?
The following statistics come from the CDC:
- Most bicycle deaths occur in urban areas. Urban areas include towns, cities, and suburbs where cyclists commonly share the road with cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
- Roughly 64 percent of cyclist fatalities occur away from intersections, and 27 percent occur at intersections. Intersections are high-traffic areas, but most fatalities occur away from intersections in areas where the speed limit is typically higher.
- About one-third of fatal bicycle accidents involve alcohol. Fatalities most often occur when either the cyclist or vehicle driver is impaired.
How to Improve Bicycle Road Safety
As one might expect, accidents between a bike and a car are far more dangerous for the cyclist than the vehicle driver. As more people start to bike for commuting or exercise, or as a leisure activity, here are a few steps to improve bicycle road safety.
Use proper equipment. Protective helmets are a significant factor in reducing cyclist accident fatality rates. However, a helmet that doesn’t fit is only slightly more effective than no helmet at all. Ensure your protective gear fits properly to reduce the risk of serious injury.
Likewise, most fall accidents result from riding a bike that is too big. If your bike doesn’t fit you, it’s much harder to maintain control.
Drive defensively. Drivers should always keep their eyes on the road and try to anticipate what others around them may do. The faster you notice a potential accident, the quicker you can react and avoid a collision.
Obey all traffic signs and signals. According to the NHTSA, failing to yield the right of way is the highest factor in fatal bike crashes. When drivers ignore traffic signs or fail to notice bikers, the result can be catastrophic.
How to Use Bicycle Road Signs to Increase Safety
Traffic and safety signs are essential for protecting drivers, pedestrians, and bikers. Here’s how city leaders can use bicycle road signs to maximize city safety.
- Install essential signs in high-traffic areas. Intersections, residential roads, and pedestrian crossings are a few areas with regular cyclist traffic. Essential safety signs to protect cyclists and pedestrians include speed limit signs, stop signs, yield to pedestrian signs, and other warning signs to ensure they are aware of potential risks.
- Ensure all signs are visible. Tree branches, vines, shadows, and light poles may obstruct your safety signs’ visibility. Ensure you install signs where they are easily visible.
- Implement bike lanes. Bike lanes are portions of the roadway dedicated for cyclist use only. These lanes are usually separated from the rest of the road by striping, signage, and pavement markings.
- Use 3M safety signs. Not all traffic signs are created equal. 3M signs are more reflective and of higher quality than other equipment. Look for certified 3M fabricators to ensure you get the best and safest bicycle road signs for your city.
Shop Bicycle Road Signs With Interwest Safety Supply
Protecting bikers and pedestrians is a primary concern for local leaders, citizens, and families.
At Interwest Safety Supply, we have provided high-quality traffic safety equipment and signage to the government and highway construction industry for over forty years. We understand what city safety means to you and we’re committed to providing fast and dependable service.
We are a 3M certified sign fabricator, which means we only provide the best safety equipment in the industry. Improve cyclist safety in your city with 3M bicycle road signs today!