AAA Colorado joins Heads Up campaign

“Heads Up. Bikes and pedestrians are hard to see.”

Denver, May 9, 2013 – AAA Colorado has joined Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and other transportation, safety and school officials to launch a Denver-wide public safety awareness campaign to educate those who live, work and play in Denver about how to increase safety while in transit. The campaign, called “Heads Up.,” will work to create a culture that embraces multimodal transportation by encouraging Denver citizens to take responsibility for their actions while, biking or driving.

“By showing common courtesy and respect on the road, we can ensure our roadways are safe for all users; automobiles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and for pedestrians crossing these roadways,” said AAA Colorado President Tony DeNovellis. Mayor Hancock shares AAA Colorado’s concerns, “It’s incumbent upon all of us to keep our heads up and take personal responsibility for ensuring not only our own safety, but the safety of those around us.”

Auto/pedestrian and auto/bicycle crashes are rising across the state of Colorado, not only in Denver. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency there were 45 pedestrian fatalities and 8 bicycle fatalities resulting from crashes with automobiles statewide in 2011, the last year of data available. This is an increase from 36 pedestrian deaths and 8 bicyclist deaths statewide in 2010.

How drivers and cyclists share the road determines how safe everyone on the road is – including passengers and pedestrians. Here’s a review of what drivers and cyclists need to know:

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.
  • Look 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 bicyclists, especially when the road is narrow.
  • NEVER honk your horn at bicyclists—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

  • Follow the same rules of the road as other roadway users, including riding in the same direction as traffic and obeying traffic signs and signals.
  • Signal all turns.
  • Wear a bicycle helmet every time and on every ride.
  • Be visible by wearing bright colors during the day and reflective gear in low light conditions, and use head and tail lights at night.
  • Remember that respect is a two way street. Show motorists the same courtesy that you expect from them.

Additional safety information can be found at www.sharetheroad.aaa.com.

AAA Colorado has more than 560,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides over 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services, as well as member exclusive savings. AAA can be visited at www.AAA.com.