RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia officials are urging motorists and bicyclists to be more careful amid an increase in bicycle-involved crashes in the state.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there have been 160 bicycle-involved crashes on Virginia roads so far this year. Nine cyclists have been killed compared to just four at this time last year, a 125% increase.
“Cyclists are some of our most vulnerable road users. We all share the responsibility of keeping them safe,” DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey said in a statement. “Looking out for each other is key. Be visible and predictable as a cyclist, and respect bike lanes and pass with care as a motorist.”
In addition to the nine fatalities, the DMV said 156 cyclists have also been injured in crashes so far this year.
The agency shared tips for both cyclists and motorists:
Tips for Bicyclists:
- Always wear a properly-fitted helmet.
- Check your bike equipment before heading out.
- Ride in the same direction as traffic.
- Obey traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
- Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others.
Tips for Motorists:
- Pass bicyclists on the road with care; allow at least three feet of clearance.
- Look for cyclists before opening a car door or pulling out from a parking space.
- Yield to bicyclists at intersections and as directed by signs and signals.
- Look for bicyclists before making turns, either left or right.
- Respect designated bicycle lanes; don’t use them for parking, passing or turning.
The DMV encourages cyclists and motorists to stay alert, practice defensive driving, and anticipate others’ actions while on the road.